Afro-Latino rhythm and culture to heat up your holiday season!


Rhythmic treasures of our Afro Caribe heritage, from Palés to Guillén! A classic, Baile Cangrejero sets the great masters of Afro-Latino poetry to the dynamic rhythms of bomba, plena and bolero.

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Wednesday, December 17 @ 1:30 PM (Matinee)
Thursday, December 18 @ 8:00 PM
Friday, December 19 @ 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 20 @ 3:00 PM (Matinee)
Saturday, December 20 @ 8:00 PM
Sunday, December 21 @ 3:00 PM (Matinee)

[tab: DESCRIPTION]This vibrant spectacle touches on the history, popular culture, and literary creation of the Americas including works by Julia de Burgos, Luis Palés Matos, Fortunato Vizcarrondo (Puerto Rico); Nicolás Guillén (Cuba); Nicomedes Santa Cruz (Perú); and Manuel del Cabral (Dominican Republic).

Featured poems:

¿Y tu agüela, a’onde ejtá? by Fortunato Vizcarrondo
Loiza Aldea by Fortunato Vizcarrondo
Enamorao by Fortunato Vizcarrondo
Majestad Negra by Luis Palés Matos
Trópico Suelto by Manuel del Cabral
Ay, ay, ay de la grifa negra by Julia de Burgos
Danza Negra by Luis Palés Matos
Muerte en el ring by Nicomedes Santa Cruz
El apellido by Nicolás Guillén
Baile Cangrejero by Fortunato Vizcarrondo

About the poets:

Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico, 1916-1953) De Burgos is the most beloved and the most highly regarded Puerto Rican woman poet of the 20th century. Her work unites love, patriotic fervor, social, and political protest. The lyrical force of poems like Río Grande de Loiza and the fine social criticism of Welfare Island sustain her popular appeal. Among her best loved books are Canción de la verdad sencilla (1939) and El mar y tú (1954). In 1996, New York Puerto Rican writer Jack Agüeros published Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos, an award winning translation from Curbstone Press.

Manuel del Cabral (Dominican Republic, 1907-1999) Del Cabral was a poet of social themes, author of fifteen books including Doce Poemas Negros (1935) and Trópico Suelto (1943). His intention is not to make colorful or folkloric descriptions of Black people, but to reveal in his verse and prose poems the deepest problems of people that live under oppression and exploitation.

Nicolás Guillén (Cuba, 1902-1981) The fundamental problems Guillén deals with are racial discrimination and the abysmal social and economic differences with the American continent. He was one of the principal representatives of negrismo, the Black arts movement in the Americas. His innovation of poema-son (poem music) has had a great influence in contemporary Caribbean and Latin American poetry. Landmark book publications include Motivos del son (1930), Sóngoro cosongo (1931), and West Indies Ltd. (1934) to name but a few.

Luis Palés Matos (Puerto Rico, 1899-1959) In the early 1920’s Palés Matos and José De Diego Padró initiated a vanguard poetic movement underscoring the poetic value of rhythm and onomatopoeia. These stylistic preferences were linked to the Afro-Antillean musical traditions, later becoming the essential element of poesía negroide in Latin America. Palés’ first poems of that period consecrated him as the undisputed initiator of this movement. His most widely read book is Tuntún de pasa grifería (1937).

Nicomedes Santa Cruz (Perú, 1925-1992) By the age of 24 Santa Cruz was writing his more than 4,000 décimas – traditional compositions consisting of ten verses of eight syllables each. He published Décimas (1960), Cumaná (1964), Canto a mi Perú (1966) and Ritmos negros del Perú (1971), among other books. One of his greatest achievements was to give rise to Peruvian literature based on Black heritage. Before his achievements, Afro-Peruvian culture was best captured in Peru’s popular music, itself an important source of inspiration for the poet.

Fortunato Vizcarrondo (Puerto Rico, 1896-1980) Vizcarrondo delves in verse of popular inspiration and attitude, in which Black Puerto Ricans occupy a central position. He used the first person in composing verses of unique candor, including the immortal ¿Y tu agüela, a donde ejtá? (And Your Grandma, Where’s She At?) where the narrator mocks the pedigree of creole whites and mestizos alike. Some of his most recognized poetry is compiled in the book Dinga y Mandinga (1942).

[tab: CREDITS]Directed by

JORGE B. MERCED • Pregones’ Associate Artistic Director and company member since 1987. An acclaimed theater artist, trained with Osvaldo Dragún, Eugenio Barba, Miguel Rubio and Teresa Ralli (EITALC 89 – Cuba), Augusto Boal (Brazil & France), and at the Alvin Ailey Center (NY). New York directing credits include: Fellini’s La Strada with René Buch, El huesped vacío and The Smell of Popcorn (IATI). Pregones directing credits include: Baile Cangrejero, El Apagón, Blanco, Aloha Boricua, Migrants!, Las facultades, Neon Baby, Marchers Trilogy, and 11 years of readings and workshop productions for the Asunción Playwrights Project. He is a graduate of City College-CUNY.


ANTONIO VARGAS • A theater artist whose credits include acting, directing, and choreographing. Pregones: Until We Win, The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat with the legendary Danny Rivera, Baile Cangrejero. Pregones Assistant Director: Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, and Neon Baby. GALA Theatre, D.C.: Casa de los espíritus, El desdén con el desdén, Puerto Rico ¡Fuá! (Helen Hayes Award nominee). Other favorite credits: Diego in the national tour of Dora the Explorer Live!, A Chorus Line. Commercial and tv work has featured him nationally and internationally. Much love to all. Antonio-Vargas.com

YAREMIS FÉLIX • Theater credits: Mestizo “Heartbeat of Latin America” (Thalia Spanish Theater); Night Over Taos (INTAR); Zoetrope, Open Up Hadrian, The Surgeon Of His Honor, FLORIDITA My Love, Barceloneta de noche, Threepenny Opera (Javierantonio González & Caborca Theatre); The Toothache of King Farfán, The Billy Club Puppet (SEA); House of Bernarda Alba, Blood Weddings (Repertorio Español); Women in Piquant Farce, Belisa’s Capriciousness (PRTT). Film & TV: Nemesis (SJ Cinema Fest), Locos de Amor (XCL-TV). She has a B.S. in Drama (UPR); professional studies in musical theater (AMDA); and proud member of R.Evolución Latina.

& the members of Pregones’ Musical Ensemble

This program is made possible by public funds from the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs and the NYS Council on the Arts. Funding is also provided by JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Southwest is proud to be the Official Airlines of Pregones Theater


Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
304 West 47th Street, New York, NY, 10036
located between 8th & 9th Avenues

Thursdays thru Saturdays @ 8pm
Sundays @ 3pm

Language: Performed in both English & Spanish with titles.

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