Developmental showing of first full-length solo show by young master of the Puerto Rican Bomba folk dance genre Julia Gutiérrez Rivera. Highly expressive vignettes from an accomplished dancer who savors tradition and also takes joy in breaking it open! I Am Julia juxtaposes a dancer’s fundamento or foundation, earned in the bosom of Los Pleneros de La 21—one of the most revered Puerto Rican folk ensembles of all time, with other equally powerful influences and passions. Her choreography draws varied inspiration from growing up NuyoRican, and challenges preconceived, uncritical, or overly reverential notions of “what it means to dance Bomba.” Rich with the sensual art of faldeo or skirt flying, footwork and intimate reflections, this performance is one of sheer athleticism and poignant artist’s commentary on culture, race, gender, and age.
Created and performed by Julia Gutiérrez Rivera
With creative advisement from Jorge B. Merced
Nelson Matthew González
Nina Dilet Rodríguez
I Am Julia is being developed with support from Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and its Step Up Artists In Residence initiative, established with a grant from The New York Community Trust.
A featured event of retroACTIVO, the South Bronx Culture Trail Festival 2019, presented in partnership with Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education and Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. The South Bronx Culture Trail engages artists, scholars, and community members in developing a physical and virtual trail connecting sites that played a significant role in spawning the rich cultural history of the South Bronx. The initiative also includes intergenerational performances, exhibitions, dance parties, the gathering and dissemination of oral histories, a website, and guided tours of the Culture Trail. This year’s retroACTIVO festival theme and artists refer to the past in order to re-interpret traditions, artworks, and genres as a form of resistance. Visit the festival webpage for information on many other fantastic, family-friendly events running May 24 – June 29!