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Callejon de Hamel, Central Havana, Cuba

Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
 

It took us some time to find this alley called Callejon de Hamel in central Havana, Cuba ….we could have been a tad hungover it was the first day of 2017. In the end we heard the drummers before we saw it.

This paint splattered back alley acts as a centre for Havana’s Afro-Cuban culture and is rightly famous for its free outdoor rumba drummers.

It was hot and I don’t just mean the temperature. The salsa dancers took over the alley, mostly women, as were the drummers and the place got very steamy.

The alley also doubles as an outside gallery of sculptures and murals.

Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham
Rumba dancers and drummers in the Callejon de Hamel alley, Central Havana, Cuba. © Lorrie Graham

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Comments 2

  1. This was one of the most interesting and evocative events that we did in Havana. It was hard to differentiate between a sense of ancient rituals, verging on paganism, and simply an extraordinary use of drums and music and dance and movement to create an almost trance like state amongst the performers and many in the packed in audience.

    An overlay of that was just incredibly put together music and dancing that had the whole crowd moving.

    And Lorrie is totally correct. The dancing was hot and highly highly sexual. The men and the women were incredible dancers and the more they performed, the greater the sweat and steaminess, the faster the music became…… with every piece culminating in a musical climax and collapsing dancers who had to be rotated and have a rest.

    Another ‘must not miss’ in Havana.

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