Julia Guitérrez-Rivera | Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena
Bomba and Plena are far grander than cultural expressions…they are, for many of us, a way of life. Every step taken, workshop given, performance performed, provides us with the opportunity to breathe and grow. As the youngest daughter of the founder of Los Pleneros 21, a non-profit cultural arts and education organization that uses bomba and plena within the classroom and beyond, I was born and raised within these traditions. Growing up I was blessed to be taught by so many elders who are now gone, and over the past 15 years as a teaching artist, I have tried to to honor the teachings of my mentors, whilst encouraging youth with visions that differ from those of my own generation. Bomba and Plena are the music of our roots, yes, but they do not remain of the past. They are alive today and make up the pulse of every step we take in the 21st century and in urban New York. A critical element of my practice is to ensure my students are immersed in the rich vocabulary, critical historical knowledge and dance techniques of Bomba and Plena, while also allowing them to express the creativity within themselves so that they too have the opportunity to claim bomba and plena as their own.
More about Julia:
Julia is a member of the bomba & plena group Los Pleneros de la 21 (LP21)
Listen to and watch LP21 in action within the classroom and the community.
What students and teachers say about Julia: