Import Miss Bienal

Acción #5

Import Miss Bienal


October 15 of 2018


Parade through Av. Monforte de Lemos and salsa class on stage in the auditorium of the Cultural Center of La Vaguada.

A proposal of Paula Valero

Guest artist

Luis Manuel Otero y Alcántara (Miss Bienal)

Coordination and communication

Leonor Martín

Photographs, recording and video editing

La Mina Films


Import Miss Bienal


“Miss Biennial” moved along the most crowded street at the rhythm of Cuban music, to invite the neighbors to a special class of salsa at the theater of La Vaguada Cultural Center. She was accompanied by the super Yuma (super “guiri”), a plastic blonde (Paula Valero) with her music cart and a collaborator in composing the class of salsa.

To invite Miss Biennial to Extraordinary Actions was to activate, as stated by Alejo Carpentier, an “unexpected alteration of reality”, one with which to provoke an interruption in the “ordinary” place with the presence of another body, of what has been constructed as exotic, something “extraordinary”. The action started out from a critical sense of the exoticism of the difference (transvestite mulatto from the Tropicana Salon in Madrid), mixing with it the imagery of “enjoyment” and the “flavor” of the Cuban-ness.

This was an unusual class of salsa, “salsa for life”, with which to flavor your life, your work, your love affairs; and all that on the most undervaluated day of the week: a Monday. This class of salsa consisted in generating moments of complicity and intimacy among strangers. The class began with a “warming of hearts”, with an affectionate attitude toward the other, to look ridiculous together in order to free ourselves from inhibitions and be able to dance afterwards.



Structure of the class

1 — Warming of hearts: introducing oneself, standing in a circle.

2 — Nothing better than acting silly together in a moment of group absurdity.

3 — Planetary rotation: hip movements to start dancing salsa.

4 — First steps: one step forward, one step backward, we move forward and go backwards, as in life, and everything follows.

5 — We pour salsa (sauce) to our bodies and dance together.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara

Text/Conclusions about the action

Miss Biennial was a character I created for an intervention during the month of the Havana Biennial. The performance consisted in transforming into a dancer of the famous Tropicana night club, and move with this image through all the exhibition spaces of the Biennial, particularly in the inauguration days, with the purpose of interacting with the largest possible number of attendees.
Displacing this Miss Biennial to interact and “inaugurate” another context seems to be a very interesting situation to reformulate other meanings that alter daily life, starting out from moments of estrangement with the interruption of the exotic, of transvestism. The intention is to use humor to reconsider the need of diversity in the identity, in the forms of social relationship, of complicities and artistic and cultural imageries to be reformulated.