, 2022-08-03 07:50:00,
In romantic love, I’ve often wielded disillusionment as armor. This conditioning emerged after a series of breakups that followed a familiar pattern: An incorrigible partner, unwilling to open themselves to the vulnerability required for honest love, deserted me. They remained physically present, but emotionally recoiled. At first, I imagined that I could convince them to return, showering them with care and affection, my caretaking impulse activated. In this dance, I was pliant and obliging, fantasizing about the promise of reciprocated, full love. But when they eventually left me behind, I turned on my body. I learned how to harden and detach, cooling my blood to love. The longer I was callous, the more impenetrable I became. I believed that disaffection could protect me from the threat of abandonment.
When love has unraveled like this, I’ve often found comfort in boleros. I’ve come to understand that their anguish carries a clandestine knowledge about how to soothe the afterburns of heartbreak. That wisdom exists in many songs by La Lupe, the Afro-Cuban icon who was known for tearing at her hair, shrieking at the top of her lungs and kicking off her shoes during ecstatic performances. But it’s especially present in the beloved “La Tirana.” It’s there in her serrated lyrics, in the heaving gasps, guttural grunts and tortured asides that punctuate the song. “Según tu punto de vista / Yo soy la mala / Vampiresa en tu novela,” she sings in the first verse (“In your point of view / I’m the bad one / The vamp in your drama”). A moment passes and she snickers. It’s a knowing laugh, the kind that restores power to its keeper. In it, there is a reminder: I am devastated now, but this heartbreak will one day grant me resolve. “El día en que te dejé / Fui yo quien salió ganando,” she belts at the end of the song. The day I left you, I was the one who came out winning.
In the classic boleros of artists like La Lupe, Olga Guillot and Toña La Negra, sorrow becomes a cradle of power — a vessel for intimacy, compassion and trust. Their defiance has endured in a new wave of artists who are reimagining the form, such as Xenia Rubinos, Kali Uchis, Mon Laferte and dozens of others. In their reappraisal, there emerges a once camouflaged kind of gendered rebellion. The dissent of their forebears isn’t just reanimated, it’s sharpened for a new generation….
To read the original article, go to Click here