Dance Card: 4 Lemon Merengue Lullaby

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(MP3, 1.08 MB, 1:21)
Lura Johnson, Piano

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Instrumentation: Piano

Total Dance Card Timing: 20 Min.

Lemon Mer. Lullaby Timing: 3:30


Lemon Mer. Lullaby is dedicated to:
Mario A. Garcia Briseno

Synthesizing the European minuet with the rhythms of Africa, the national dance of the Dominican Republic has two legends explaining its origins. The first holds that the merengue's drag step originated with slaves laboring on sugar plantations, their legs heavy with iron manacles. The second tells of the war hero come home to find his village celebrating his return with a limp-footed dance to honor his wounded leg.

In Lemon Merengue Lullaby, the merengue rhythm appears as something of a memory or the hushed sound of a distant celebration, while a gentle lullaby melody is sung. Here, the sound of the merengue has vanished; only its plodding bass drum pulse and tambora and accordion rolls remain as the lilting, almost Schubertian tune beckons the weary dancer to sleep.