Alma Guillermoprieto (CBA ’17) is a Mexican writer and reporter. She became a journalist in the late 1970s, writing about the Central American civil wars. Since then she has written extensively about Latin America, principally for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and National Geographic. She is the author of Dancing with Cuba, a memoir about her time as a dancer, and Samba, about the central role of carnival in the favela of Mangueira in Rio de Janeiro. Guillermoprieto is a MacArthur fellow and a founder of the New Journalism Foundation created by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Cartagena, Colombia. Most recently, she was the recipient of Spain’s Ortega y Gasset lifetime achievement award.
A Dancing Childhood: Memory and the Dance
Guillermoprieto was an alarmingly precocious eleven-year-old when she took her first class at Mexico’s foremost, or only, modern dance company, twelve when she joined the group, and sixteen when she left it in 1965, bound for New York and the Graham studio. Her project is a memoir of those years—of Art with a capital A, the glamour of 1960s bohemian Mexico, a painful adolescence, and the dance that pulled her forward, so often against her will.