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You don’t have to leave Queens to take this cultural voyage around the globe, but you will definitely want to leave your seat.

Cali Salsa Pal’ Mundo will continue presenting Dances of the World at Thalía Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside from Friday, Oct. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 26. (The performing troupe’s run actually started last weekend.)

With about 20 dancers in colorful costumes and musicians providing an infectious, pulsating rhythm, Cali Salsa Pal’ Mundo will take the audience back to Latin music’s African and Spanish origins and then groove forward through its Cuban, Puerto Rican, Nuyorican, Colombian, Panamanian, and other influences.

Many Latin genres are very similar except for small differences in stepping, body movement, timing, patterns, and of course, attitude. Cuba is the birthplace of Rumba, Mambo, Guaguanco, and Cha Cha Cha. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico produced Plena and Bomba. Merengue formed in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, while Vallenato and Cumbia caught on in Colombia.

Then there’s “Salsa,” which is basically a hot and spicy marketing term for a wide form of Latin dance. The genre has gone through many variations over time and changes depending on geography. Panama has its version. Puerto Rico has its style. Cali, which is located in Southeast Colombia, is the self-proclaimed “World Capital of Salsa.” Known for its nightlife and discos, this tropical city of about 2.5 million people has produced the legendary Salsa bands Grupo Niche and Orquesta Guayacán and hosts an even more legendary annual Salsa festival.

Cali Salsa Pal’ Mundo, which was founded in Jackson Heights in 2011, promotes its namesake city and genre. Co-directors Jhonathan Ramos and Vivian Reyes are former members of the Colombian National Ballet, and both have been named cultural ambassadors by the Organization of American States.

Tickets are $40 in advance, but $45 at the door. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.

Images: Thalía Spanish Theatre


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