Information Desk | S&M Activities | For Players | Dance Tutorials | Revealing Items | 4:Bohemians
Salsa & Merengue
Nav Bar

Revealing Items

Part One:
A Dance around the Caribbean
Part Two:
It's Black and White
Part Three:
Defensive Dancing
Part Four:
Rafael Trujillo
Part Five:
Coming of Age
Part Six:
Merengue Moves Abroad
Part Seven:
Merengue in the U.K.

About the Author

Back to
Revealing Items

A History of Merengue

Trawling through the Internet, I find as many different interpretations for the history of merengue as there are websites. I think it's encouraging that there is no single “definitive” version; actually it just demonstrates the richness and vitality of the genre.

Presented here is a series of seven articles, tracing the early history of merengue as a pan-Caribbean genre, the importance of the Dominican Republic as the main locus for its development, and its transnationalisation because of the Diaspora. It concludes with a personal perspective of merengue in this country, the United Kingdom.

Given the nature of its history, it has sometimes been necessary to allude to certain political events of the time. I'd like to reassure you, the reader, that I have no political capital invested in this work.

Web writing does not allow me to be as comprehensive as I would like. But luckily, if you find your curiosity piqued, I can heartily recommend Paul Austerlitz's book which was one of my primary references. It sets the standard that musicologists should aspire to. You can find details under resources.

I hope that you will find this series useful, whether you're a dancer, teacher or researcher. And once again, thanks to all of you for your valuable suggestions.

Loo Yen Yeo
21st June 2002


Subject: Amazing Website!

Hi Loo again,

I just took the time to read all of your "history of merengue" which is a great synopsis of all the info going, plus some more. Well Done!

I was just checking my facts before an interview I have to do tonight on BBC
Radio Scotland, about merengue - as a tie in to the Merengada gig on Saturday in Aberdeen.

With your permission, I'd like to link to those articles - or reproduce them in our website under your name of course.Let me know....

Hope to hear back!



I am a merengue artist by the name of EL SIKI from Dominican Republic. Great article.

Emmanuel Polanco




This site is kindly sponsored by Verdant Ecologic. Keeping the right to dance, free.

1999 Salsa & Merengue Society