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Puerto Rico - Bomba (Live Music). 

Bomba music and dance originated from West African slaves brought to the island during the 17th century to work on sugar cane plantations along the coastline of Puerto Rico. Slaves gathered in the sugar cane fields on Sundays and festive days to celebrate life and express feelings of repression, sadness, anger, and happiness through Bomba. Bomba created a sense of community for the slaves and allowed for rebellion meetings. Unlike traditional forms of music and dance, it is the Bomba dancer who sets the rhythm of the music delivered by the drummer. The dancer and drummer establish a connection, and the drummer delivers the rhythm by following the dancer’s steps. It is said that female Bomba dancers showed their underskirts while dancing to mock the 17th-century aristocratic women and their attire. This performance is in full traditional Puerto Rican folk costumes. 

  • The full group (8 to 15 performers) requires a sound system with 9 microphones and a large space. Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

  • A small ensemble (3 to 4 performers) in a smaller space does not require a sound system. Duration: 10 minutes

Cuba - Salsa Rueda

Cuban Salsa Rueda de Casino Dance Performances. Salsa Rueda de Casino is a fun, upbeat, high-energy Cuban dance. It is a community dance in a circle as dancers follow a "caller", synchronizing their moves and switching partners at the caller's request. Audiences enjoy watching the spinning, turning, clapping, and movements in unity. 

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Puerto Rico - Plena

Plena developed from Bomba towards the 20th century as slaves were freed in 1873, and Puerto Rico’s political rule was transferred from Spain to the United States in 1898. Freed slaves became part of the working class, and traveled to cities along the coast searching for work. It is in “barrios” in the city of Ponce where Plena is born. Bomba’s African roots mix with other musical influences from the Jibaro, Taino Indians, Europeans, and other migrant freed slaves from other Caribbean islands. This fusion of cultures creates Plena, a distinctive form of folkloric music native to Puerto Rico. Plena’s lyrics are like a sung newspaper about events and daily life occurrences. 

  • The full group (8 performers) requires a sound system and a large space. Duration: 12 minutes.

  • A small ensemble (4 performers) requires a sound system and a smaller space. Duration: 3 to 10 minutes.

Cuba - Salsa Rueda

Cuban Salsa Rueda de Casino Dance Performances. Salsa Rueda de Casino is a fun, upbeat, high-energy Cuban dance. It is a community dance in a circle as dancers follow a "caller", synchronizing their moves and switching partners at the caller's request. Audiences enjoy watching the spinning, turning, clapping, and movements in unity. 

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Puerto Rico - Plena

Plena developed from Bomba towards the 20th century as slaves were freed in 1873, and Puerto Rico’s political rule was transferred from Spain to the United States in 1898. Freed slaves became part of the working class, and traveled to cities along the coast searching for work. It is in “barrios” in the city of Ponce where Plena is born. Bomba’s African roots mix with other musical influences from the Jibaro, Taino Indians, Europeans, and other migrant freed slaves from other Caribbean islands. This fusion of cultures creates Plena, a distinctive form of folkloric music native to Puerto Rico. Plena’s lyrics are like a sung newspaper about events and daily life occurrences. 

  • The full group (8 performers) requires a sound system and a large space. Duration: 12 minutes.

  • A small ensemble (4 performers) requires a sound system and a smaller space. Duration: 3 to 10 minutes.

  • Puerto Rican - Seis, or Polka

Seis is the folkloric music played by Puerto Rico's country folk (jíbaro) and is rooted in music that arrived in Puerto Rico from Spain during times of colonization. Moorish and Arabic influences are recognizable in Seis given the cultures were present in Spain for nearly eight centuries. Jíbaros lived in the mountains of Puerto Rico and worked plantations, particularly coffee plantations. They'd play and dance to Seis in the afternoons and into the night after religious ceremonies during the 17th and 18th centuries. The cuatro is a Puerto Rican guitar-like instrument that evolved from Spanish instruments and is the most important instrument played in jíbaro music. 

  • The full group (8 performers) requires a sound system and a large space. Duration: 3 minutes.

  • A small ensemble (4 performers) requires a sound system and a smaller space. Duration: 3 to 3 minutes.

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  • Puerto Rico - Danza, ​Mazurka, Valz 

Danza:  This is a Puerto Rican musical genre that resembles classical European music and waltz. Danza was born circa 1870 in Ponce, a southern city and capital of Puerto Rico at the time. A rigid Spanish country dance (contradanza) was popular during the first third of the 19th century and was losing popularity upon the arrival of Cuban immigrants circa 1840. The new immigrants introduced their form of music (habanera) and a more rhythmic style of dance for couples which resonated with the Puerto Rican youth at the time. Puerto Rican composers adopted the habanera music and mixed it with local musical "flavors", hence Danza was born. Unlike Bomba y Plena, Danza is a high society type of dance where women wear long formal gowns, and gloves, and discretely communicate to the men through signals with their handheld fans.​​​ Other Dances: ​Mazurka, Polka, Vals, and Paso Doble are types of ballroom dances introduced to Puerto Rico by the Spaniards and other European immigrants. The ballroom dances were adopted by the jibaros, and the music became more Puerto Rican-like as the jibaros added local folklore with instruments such as the cuatro and guitar.

  • The full group (8 to 10 performers) requires a sound system and a large space. Duration: 10 minutes.

  • Salvador - Cumbia

Cumbia El Sombrero Azul from Salvador a cumbia song by Salsa Clave that starts with an indigenous tune. Tubular bells are a cue for El Salvador's Christianity and majestic fanfare trumpets for El Salvador's national pride.

  • The full group is 10 performers, a small ensemble of 4 to 6  performers. Requires a sound system and a large space. Duration: 3 minutes

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Salvador - Las Comaleras

Las Comaleras is a traditional dance in El Salvador. The dance is performed to the sound of marimba. The trays used in the dance are called comales.

  • A small ensemble (4 performers) requires a sound system and a smaller space. Duration: 3 minutes.

Columbia - Cumbia La Pollera Colorá

La Pollera Colorá, is a Colombian cumbia song. It was composed in 1960 as an instrumental by clarinetist Juan Madera Castro. Singer-songwriter Wilson Choperena composed the lyrics in 1962. It is also a  traditional, brightly colored dress that is considered the most well-known national costume for women in Colombia. The name translates to "brightly colored skirt" 

  • The full group is 10 performers, a small ensemble of 4 to 6  performers. Requires a sound system and a large space. Duration: 3 to 6 minutes.

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  • Mexico - Coco

Our Interpretation of Miguelito from the movie COCO. 

  A small ensemble (4 to 6 performers) requires a sound system and a smaller space. Duration: 3 Minutes.

  • Mexico - El Baile de los Viejitos (The Dance of The Old Men)

The dancers, who are colorfully dressed as senior citizens wearing bright hats adorned with ribbon, a pink smiling mask, and typical campesino clothing, are intended to be a humorous dance. The men start hunched over, aching in pain as they walk with their canes in very slow motion when all of a sudden it turns into vigorous, agile dancing and stomping their feet. There are moments in the dance when the viejitos return to their “elderly” state, coughing and falling over. This performance is said to be traced back to pre-Hispanic times to the Purépecha indigenous group from Michoacán and was meant to honor the ‘Old God’; later, after the colonization by Spain, it was “modernized” and became a parody of old Spanish men.

  • The full group is 5 to 6 performers, a small ensemble of 2 to 4  performers. Requires a sound system and a large space. Duration: 3 to 10 minutes.

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  • Mexico - Day of the Dead Celebration (Día de los Muertos)

This is a Mexican holiday that honors the dead.  It is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd and is a time to remember and celebrate loved ones who have passed away.

Dance and Other Lessons for Adults and Children

Bomba - Puerto Rican Folk

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  • Plena - Puerto Rican Folk

  • Percussion - Puerto Rican Folk

  • Merengue - Dominican Republic

  • Bachata - Dominican Republic

  • Salsa - Puerto Rico

  • Cuba - Rueda

  • Choreographies for Wedding or Sweet Fifteen (Quinceañero)

  • All Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata 

  • Salsa Guy's Line Dances Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Chacha

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General Performance

Folk Characters - Meet and Greet

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Meet and Greet with various characters from Puerto Rico and Mexico and our performers dressed in traditional folk dresses. This assists in promoting an event, keeping the public engaged, and allows the public to pose with our performers for pictures.

 

 

  • Folk Characters

Characters are introduced to the public with an explanation of their meaning and purpose.

  • Alma Ranchera

Sings traditional Mexican music.

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