Winter Quarter Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Pablo Rivera and students perform bomba music of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican Bomba
Performance by Pablo Luis Rivera and UW students
Visiting Artist Pablo Rivera presents a performance of bomba music and dance, featuring students in the dance and music programs at the University of Washington.
Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican drum dance with a history of more than 300 years, is based on a sophisticated challenge of improvisation: an individual dancer creates rhythmic phrases with his or her movements, while the drummer sounds those movements simultaneously on the primo drum. This improvisational duel is accompanied by supporting drums, percussion, and call and response singing.
The March 4th program will include group choreography in several of the distinct rhythms of bomba, as well as individual dancing by Rivera and others.
Pablo Rivera is a dancer and musician who specializes in bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican dance form in which the dancer challenges the drummer to follow and accentuate his or her movements. Rivera’s work as an artist focuses on promoting bomba as a participatory community practice. He is a founding member of Restauración Cultural, an organization dedicated to the promotion of Afro-Puerto Rican culture through concerts, workshops, and other educational programming.
Since 2009 Rivera has also served as co-director of Proyecto Union, a performing and educational group that travels internationally and promotes communication between diverse music and dance practitioners in the African Diaspora. With Proyecto Union, Rivera has organized exchanges and collaborations with Afro-Caribbean arts groups in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Mexico, and U.S. cities including Washington D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Rivera is also a scholar, currently writing his doctoral dissertation on Afro-Puerto Rican cultural history at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe in San Juan, Puerto Rico.