October 9 & 10, 2021

The forgotten stick-fighting dance of Puerto Rico


Cocobalé is the stick fighting dance of Puerto Rico which was forgotten and taken out of the Bomba Communal practice. Reminiscent of Brazil’s Capoeira, Cocobalé was a “dance” used to disguise the enslaved and free people of color’s fighting practices when the Spanish government in colonial Puerto Rico prohibited people of color from using/ practicing with arms.

Milteri Tucker Concepción, Bomba practitioner, cultural warrior, choreographer and scholar has researched this form for the past 8 years, uncovering and re-discovering the powerful meaning that unites Puerto Rico to the rest of the Caribbean basin. Cocobalé, the forgotten dance of Puerto Rico, not only shares its valuable history and pedagogy with a live audience, but also brings forth social justice themes from the 17th century to the present day.

Researched and choreographed by Milteri Tucker Concepcion and Bombazo Dance Company, Cocobalé was developed with support from Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater’s Step Up Artists in Residence initiative.

Limited Capacity - Get Tickets NOW!

In-person performances at PREGONES THEATER (575 Walton Avenue in The Bronx)

This event is open to the general public. Key to NYC vaccination mandate and face mask safety protocols will be observed. Capacity is limited. Please use the online Box Office link at the top of this page.

More About The Artists – Click To Open

Born and raised in Puerto Rico. Ms. Tucker holds degrees in Dance, Biology and Chemistry, a master in Dance Education from New York University-NYU. Is the founder and artistic director of BOMBAZO Dance Co. Ms Tucker has apprenticed and performed with Bomba elders and distinguished Bomba families in Puerto Rico from San Juan, Santurce, Loiza, Catano, Ponce, Mayaguez, Arroyo. As an educator and Master Bomba dancer, she lectures in dance departments on Bomba dance technique, figure and timing across the United States and internationally. Milteri has worked for distinguished dance companies and choreographers from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and United States. She has performed and showcased her work at City Center, Alvin Ailey, Hostos Main Stage, BAAD, Pregones Theater, Thalia Spanish Theater, Castillo Theater, El Museo del Barrio, Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, PRTT and STEPS.

Theater Credits include:The Perils Of Chencha” written and directed by Anita Velez Mitchell, YES I YES, written by Acclaimed Spanish writer Yolanda Garcia Serrano directed by Noelle Mauri, Amor Latino written and directed by Angel Gil Orrios, La Negra Mas Bella”, “Llamada/ Rally Cry” both written and directed by Nancy Nevarez, Lulu en la Habana written by Ntozake Shange and directed by Carla Pinza. She portrayed Josephine Baker for Macy’s Herald Squares tribute to the “First Diva: Josephine Baker” in 2007, performed for Broadway’s Easter Bonnet at the Minskoff Theater in 2011 and highlighted dancer at the Latin Billboards for Puerto Rican urban artist, Don Omar. Milteri is a cast dance member in Lin Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights The Movie” set to release in 2020.


Proclamation given by the Bronx Borough President: Honorable: Ruben Diaz Jr. at the Bronx Supreme court,for her contribution to the arts and keeping Puerto Rican Heritage alive thru dance: BOMBAZO Dance Co and community outreach programs.

Choreography Awards:

2012 TAINO AWARDS for Outstanding Choreography.
2012 HOLA AWARD for Best Technical Production for Choreography in the new Musical: “Temple of the Souls.”
2012 Comite Noviembre “Lo mejor de nuestra cultura” Award in dance and community outreach programs.

More About Bombazo – Click To Open

Bombazo Dance Co is New York’s leading dance & drum company in traditional Bomba Puertorriquena and it’s fusion with contemporary dance elements. Bombazo is a Bronx based 501 c 3 non profit dance organization founded and directed by Puerto Rican native, MilteriTucker Concepcion. The organization preserves, educates, performs traditional Bomba Puertorriquena as well as produces performances fusing traditional and contemporary movement connecting the African Diaspora experience. The company has had the distinction to perform at Lincoln Center, City Center, Pregones Theater, Hostos performing Arts Center, BAAD, amongst numerous festivals throughout the five boroughs. Bombazo has performed nationally and internationally in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba and Mexico. Most recently company members were highlighted dancing Bomba in Lin Manuel Miranda’s movie, from the hit Broadway show: “In the Heights.” www.bombazodanceco.com

COVID-19 Visitor Safety Info – Click To Open

Per current Key to NYC mandate, all visitors must show valid proof of vaccination against COVID19 prior to gaining entry to Pregones/PRTT’s Bronx and Manhattan theaters. We also require audience members to wear a face mask at all times. By submitting an RSVP or asking for entry to our events, you agree to abide by these rules.

To be presented with matching government-issued I.D., valid documents of vaccination status include:

  • NYS Excelsior Pass
  • NYC COVID Safe App
  • CDC Vaccination Card
  • NYC Vaccination Record
  • Proof of overseas vaccination

Mask must be worn at all times in the building.  Masks must cover nose and mouth.  Masks should fit snuggly against the sides of the face.

Our Esteemed Funders – Click To Open

This program is also made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For a full list of our funders, visit www.pregonesprtt.org.

Directions to Pregones Theater in The Bronx – Click To Open

Pregones Theater
575 Walton Avenue 
(b/w 149th & 150th Streets)
The Bronx, NY 10451

Trains # 2, 4, 5 to 149th Street & Grand Concourse

For more information call us at 718-585-1202


Event Details

  • Location

    Pregones Theater in The Bronx

  • Date & Time

    October 9, 2021 @ 7:30pm
    October 10, 2021 @ 3:00pm

  • Collaborators

    Milteri Tucker Concepción
    Bombazo Dance Company

    Cocobalé’s development
    funded as part of
    Step Up Artist In Residence