Las Perlas del Son thank activists

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Las Perlas del Son thank activists

By Maureen Sexton

ADELAIDE — Around 300 people attended a reception for the all-woman Cuban band, Las Perlas del Son, at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel on February 22. The reception was organised by the Australia Cuba Friendship Society and the Folk Federation of SA. The band was invited to Adelaide to perform at the Womadelaide world music festival.

The seven band members and their manager were met at the airport by around 30 people carrying roses and placards with messages of solidarity. Members of the indigenous community in traditional dress performed a dance to welcome the visitors. The women were overwhelmed and commented they had not received a welcome like this elsewhere.

At the reception, the women expressed thanks for the warm welcome and hospitality and for the solidarity shown with the Cuban people's struggle, under an illegal and inhumane US blockade. They explained how young people in Cuba are very active and full of energy, and said it was good to see so many young people at the reception.

The women had an instant rapport with all the supporting acts, but in particular the indigenous performers. Their support for and solidarity with the struggles of indigenous people were evident.

The band's performance was intense, exuberant and energetic. With beautiful harmonies and hot rhythms, it was a treat. They had no inhibitions in displaying sensuality in their dance movements. They obviously felt good about themselves and their bodies.

Las Perlas del Son showed us how — in a different society like Cuba, which supports free education, free child-care, free health care, employment for all and equality for women — young women can exhibit confidence, camaraderie (on and off the stage) and political and social awareness.

All the women, outside their musical profession, have university educations and work. The $2500 raised at the reception will go to an agricultural aid project in Cuba.

For information about Australia Cuba Friendship Society, write to PO Box 381, North Adelaide SA 5006 or e-mail: <cubafriendship.sa@mailcity.com>>.