When I saw the Galician-American Andrés Camaño begin to teach a class on Galician dance, I was moved. We were at Princeton University, and I felt especially proud that it had been members of the institution who came to me to suggest incorporating “that very fascinating dance” into their new program.
Princeton University Concerts wanted to do something special in its series of chamber music concerts: the program wanted to include a dance class for those who purchased a ticket. And so began a pioneering series called Dancebreak in which the public could not only listen to one of Bach’s suites but could also learn some of the movements shaping Baroque dance suites. Its inaugural concert included two of my projects, and for its new series, I put the university in contact with Andrés, the dance teacher connected to many of the Galician cultural centers in New York and New Jersey and who has spent decades transmitting affection and respect for Galician dance to the generations of Galician-Americans. With him came his students, dressed in traditional Galician garb, and Andrés’ enthusiasm was contagious: professors, students and music lovers who had nothing to do with Galicia ended their evening dancing a muiñeira as a community. The party had come to Princeton.
My wish is that the next statement of Galician dance as an asset of cultural interest will serve to nourish, support and promote the long-term development of the many associations and groups who have spent decades cherishing and celebrating our best show of community. Many of them will be in Santiago de Compostela in these next few days to participate in a large-scale celebration called “Seran 01” directed by the master of Galician dance Henrique Peón. Long life to those associations who take care of Galician culture.