Conga del Fuego Nuevo
Performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic and YOLA
Born in Mexico, Arturo Márquez studied at CalArts in Valencia (CA) and privately in Paris. He has been inspired by vernacular music and is best-known to orchestral audiences for a series of sinuous, evocative danzóns, a dance of Cuban origin that is very popular in Mexico, particularly in the Veracruz region.
The conga is a Cuban carnival dance, from which the conga line, popularized in the U.S. by band leaders such as Xavier Cugat, was derived. Márquez’ Conga del Fuego Nuevo (the “New Fire” ceremony was a pre-Columbian Mexican ritual; Carlos Chávez composed a ballet titled El fuego nuevo) is rather more elemental and multifaceted than the novelty dance, a rhythmically more playful showpiece but nonetheless still well connected to the staccato line-dance imperatives of 1-2-3-kick.