TiLLT Dance In Other Spaces Feature

Melinda Gonzalez

Photography Deneka Peniston

Photography Deneka Peniston

Join El Puente CADRE teaching artist and Dance Lit grantee Melinda González for  dance workshops and community talks on Afro Puerto Rican culture and history. As Dance Lit resident, Gonzalez will be connecting bomba, a traditional Afro Puerto Rican artistic expression, with the poem, Yo misma fui mi ruta/I was my own path, by beloved Puerto Rican poet, Julia de Burgos. 

Gonzalez used poetry, meditation and discussion on central themes to connect participants to literature through the dance and artistic expression of bomba.


Bomba is a synergy of African derived artistic expression. The three main elements include: dance, drumming and the call and response of singing. In bomba, the lead drummer marks the improvised movements of a solo dancer. This creates a dynamic dialogue that is engaging for all ages and abilities.

Julia de Burgos is one of Puerto Rico’s most beloved and respected poets. She spent a considerable time in New York City.

In the past twenty years, bomba has experienced a rebirth both in Puerto Rico and in stateside communities, in particular New York City.

Photography Deneka Peniston

Photography Deneka Peniston

“My project brings these two powerful forces together and invites the community to engage with them not as separate artistic expressions but bridge the central themes of both. The poetry and bomba will help guide the process. The project will provide a space to recognize Puerto Rican artistic expressions that are declarations of self expression, personal and collective self determination and cultural affirmation.”

-Melinda Gonzalez

Moving the art form of bomba into residency at The Williamsburg Library and combining with literature makes Gonzalez's work, this months feature and must see! Catch the finale performance as part of our monthly TiLLT event on June 3,2017 at 5:30pm.

Dance Lit is operated by Spaceworks and El Puente CADRE and is made possible through a partnership with Brooklyn Public Library and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.