I watched a show on the travel channel a few weeks ago in which the American host, Samantha Brown, visits Puerto Rico. One segment (which is portrayed in the youtube video above) shows Sam experiencing Bomba, a dance which the video explains is unique to Puerto Rico but is heavily influenced by African dance. I didn't really think much about this dance when I originally watched the episode, but our discussions today about Celia Cruz and the way female dancers are often portrayed really made me think about this dance in a new light.
One unique thing about Bomba is that it is a highly interactive dance. It's not just about dancers following a set beat that the musicians are playing. Rather, one of the drummers must watch the dancers and actually play the drum in concert with the dancer's movements. Since Bomba dancers are often female, this gives them quite a bit of control over the dance, which I find interesting. Also, I think that the outfits the women wear are empowering rather than objectifying. The women use their skirts to establish the fierce beat of the Bomba and make almost punching motions with their hands moving the skirt while they engage with the drummer. They also have very serious, kind of angry facial expressions during this point in the dance. I was just wondering what people would think about this dance and how women play a part in it in light of some of the videos we watched in class today (especially "La Negra Tiene Tumbao").