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Project Cimarrona in July! July 1, 2008

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NEWS RELEASE
__________________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MEDIA CONTACT:
June 20, 2008
projectcimarrona@gmail.com
http://www.myspace.com/projectcimarrona

2ND BI- ANNUAL PROJECT CIMARRONA: LA BOMBA ES NUESTRA/THE BOMBA IS OURS
MASTER BOMBA WORKSHOP SERIES AND EDUCATION PROGRAM:
***JUNE/JULY PERFORMANCE, WORKSHOP, AND LECTURE SCHEDULE INCLUDED***

(SAN FRANCISCO) – Friday, June 20, 2008 – The 2nd Bi- Annual Project Cimarrona, beginning on Saturday, June 21, 2008, will include inspirational performances, educational workshops including Afro-Puerto Rican music and dance, a series of improvisational sessions (Bombazos), and a culminating performance by Afro-Puerto Rican women bomba players at Laney College on Saturday, July 19, 2008. Artists and performers from the Bay Area, Puerto Rico and the diaspora – including visiting artists of Project Cimarrona, Las Bomberas de la Bahia, and other special guests – will join together to explore the depths of art-making through Afro-Puerto Rican bomba. .

Project Cimarrona will feature master bomba classes, providing opportunities to grow the knowledge of bomba dance, traditional song, new song writing and composition, and percussion in various regional styles. Master dance classes with Oxil Febles, director of Grupo Nandi (Puerto Rico’s first Women’s Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba Ensemble), will focus on advanced improvisation techniques and partner-style bomba dance. Master song writing and composition classes with Norka Nadal, of the famous bomba family from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and the director of Grupo Bambula from New York City, will teach techniques geared toward both beginner and advanced musicians. This year’s project is funded by The Alliance for California Traditional Arts, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and private donors.

The 3rd Annual Project Cimarrona is proud to present performances and original works by:
• Avotcja • Norka Nadal
• Las Bomberas de la Bahia • Oxil Febles
• Nosotras • Amarilys Rios-Rosa
• Afro-Puerto Rican master teachers • Priscilla Renta
• Awilda Sterling-Duprey • Jade Power
• Un Camino por El Rio

PROJECT CIMARRONA PERFORMANCE, WORKSHOP, AND LECTURE SCHEDULE

Cimarronaje Fundraiser and House Bombazo
When: Saturday, June 21 – 8 p.m.
Where: 673 31st Street, #A (between Martin Luther King and West Streets)
Oakland, CA 94609
Who: Open to the General Public
Cost: $10 suggested donations
– more –
Project Cimarrona page 2

PROJECT CIMARRONA PERFORMANCE, WORKSHOP, AND LECTURE SCHEDULE (CONTINUED)

Bomba Dance Workshops with Oxil Febles
When: Tuesday, June 26 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 29 – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, July 1 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday, July 3 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 20 – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (with Norka Nadal)
Where: Destiny Arts Center
1000 42nd Street (entrance on the 43rd street side)
Oakland, CA 94608
Who: All levels, all genders
Cost: $15 in advance, $18 at door

Song Composition and Percussion Workshops with Norka Nadal
When: Sunday, July 6 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, July 8 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday, July 10 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 13 – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 20 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Destiny Arts Center
1000 42nd Street (entrance on the 43rd street side)
Oakland, CA 94608
Who: All levels, all genders
Cost: $15 in advance, $18 at door

Culminating Performance: “Cimarronaje: A Neo-folkloric Journey Celebrating the Lives of Revolutionary Puerto Rican Women”
A special, collaborative performance from Afro-Puerto Rican women bomba players of Puerto Rico and the Diaspora, including visiting artists of Project Cimarrona, Las Bomberas de la Bahia, and other special guests.
When: Saturday, July 19 – 8 p.m.
Where: Laney College
900 Fallon Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Who: Open to the General Public
Cost: $18 in advance, $20 at door (door sales are cash only)

Community Dialogue and Bombazo
Deconstructing Tradition, Modernity, and Femininity in Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba
When: Sunday, July 20 – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: La Pena Cultural Center: http://www.lapena.org
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Who: Open to the General Public
Cost: $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds)

– more –
Project Cimarrona page 3

Who are the Cimarrones (n. SEE*ma*ron*es)?
The Cimarrones are the self-liberated African slaves in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

What are Cimaronaje (n. SEE*ma*ron*ah*je)?
Cimaronaje refers to the acts of rebellion by the Cimarrones.

What is bomba?
Bomba is a centuries old, treasured song and dance tradition from Puerto Rico that uses a call and response musical form. It emerged from the communities of enslaved Africans and their descendants. During these times, bomba served as a tool for community healing and empowerment that ultimately served to combat the slave system. To this day, it continues to be an important tool for resistance.

Awilda Sterling-Duprey

Since the late ’70’s, Awilda Sterling-Duprey has been creating experimental dance works, performed and taught throughout NYC, Europe, Latin America, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries. Ms. Sterling is an important influence in Puerto Rico’s traditional cultural arts scene as she is recognized for her unique experimental vision utilizing various traditional cultural arts genres including Afro-Puerto Rican bomba and the vast complex of Afro-Cuban dance folkloric and secular dance. She has actively taught her particular understanding of Caribbean contemporary aesthetics by means of an inter-disciplinary approach, where the importance of the conscious integration of movement and the body became relevant to the overall theatrical experience. As choreographer and dancer, she has collaborated with outstanding figures of Puerto Rico’s literary, dance and theater communities. Most recently, she was features in NYC’s Bombplenazo event working in collaboration with Tito Matos and Plena Libre. In addition, she is an accomplished visual artist who has created several installations at BAAD!/Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance for other dance performances in Puerto Rico. Ms. Sterling has received the following awards: NEA (individual artists), PSBA (Institute of Puerto Rican Culture Artist Fellowships), FPA Puerto Rico Community Foundation), and a 2003 Community Award from the Clemente Soto Velez Center in downtown Manhattan.

Oxil Febles

Oxil Febles born in El Barrio, New York currently living in Puerto Rico. Is an educator, Bomba and Plena dancer, instructor and choreographer whose expertise and innovations in Bomba dancing have placed her among the top performers in Puerto Rico and the Diaspora. She is the founder of Cokids of Puerto Rico Children’s Workshop, which promotes African cultural heritage through educational and recreational activities in the public school system of Puerto Rico in after school programs. She is the director of NANDI, Puerto Rico’s first all women Bomba group. Throughout her career, she has worked with Taller Tamboricua, Restauracíon Cultural, Centro de Investigaciones Culturales Raices Eternas (CICRE), Plenibom, Son del Batey, William Cepeda and his Afrorican Jazz, Meet the Composer , William Cepeda, Workshop for the Department of Education of Puerto Rico, Tite Curet Alonso, Tato Torres and Yerbabuena, School of the Arts of Carolina, P.R., Legado de Nuestra Herencía Africana, Workshop for Social Studies teachers of Department of Education of Puerto Rico, Raíces Bco. Popular Christmas Special, Instituto de Cultura puertorriqueña, Conservatorio de Música de P.R. Oxil received her training from the Cepeda Family in Puerto Rico and since has shared the stage with many artists presenting the traditional and contemporary interpretations of the genre.

Norka Nadal

Norka Nadal, AKA “La Flaka” born in Mayagüez, PR currently living in New York City is a Bomba and Plena musician, dancer and ensemble director whose talents place her among the top young Bomba and Plena masters in New York City. Currently, Norka is one of the lead vocalists for Tato Torres and Yerbabuena, she is an active member of Grupo Yagüembe from Mayagüez, PR and she has recently founded her own NYC-based Bomba group called Bambula. She has also collaborated with William Cepeda’s Grupo AfroBoricua, Los Pleneros De La 21, Alma Moyo and Capa Prieto.Her instruction began in a household where music was the main ingredient for everything. As the granddaughter of Dona Catin, being part of the Nadal family meant following a family tradition that could be traced back to times of slavery where Bomba was played for every occasion. Norka believes that passing on the Bomba traditions, specifically those of Mayagüez, is extremely important and she works towards this through her Mayagüez-style Bomba dance and drum classes and Women’s Bomba jam sessions hosted in the Bronx, NY. She is also a health professional.

Melanie Maldonado

Melanie Maldonado conducts independent research on various topics of Puerto Rican culture including murals in Chicago and Philadelphia, Puerto Ricans in Hawai’i, and urban musical forms including bomba, plena, and freestyle. She is currently in pursuit of a PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University where she is working on a dissertation about the contemporary practice of Bomba in Puerto Rico and the U.S. based diaspora. Some of her research projects related to Bomba include the contribution of women, the costume for women, and constructions of gender. She has been active in Chicago’s Bomba community for almost seven years during which time she has learned about Bomba under the direction of (and performed with the groups of) Tito Rodríguez of AfriCaribe and Ángel Fuentes and Rubén Gerena of Nuestro Tambó. In Puerto Rico, Melanie has gleaned from colleagues Marien Torres Lopez and Jorge Emmanualli Nater and has collaborated in performance with Nandi — Puerto Rico’s first all women’s Bomba group. As founder of the Puerto Rican Organization for the Performing Arts, she sponsors the biennial Bomba Research conference in Chicago.

Priscilla Renta

Priscilla Renta is a performer, writer and scholar. She is working toward a Ph.D. in Performance Studies at Northwestern University and holds a Masters degree in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. Her work focuses on Afro-Latino/a performance genres including salsa and bomba. In bomba she has had vast experience in different areas of the United States, including Chicago’s Africaribe, directed by Tito Rodriguez. Her most recent experience has been with Taller Tambuye, led by Marien Torres, in Puerto Rico, and the all-female music and dance ensemble known as Nandí, headed by Oxil Febles. As a dance historian and ethnographer, Priscilla Renta’s work has been published in the Centro Journal of Puerto Rican Studies and the anthology Technofuturos: Critical Interventions in Latina/o Studies. She has also published several articles in AHA! Hispanic Arts News, a publication of the Association of Hispanic Arts, where she served as associate editor. She has taught dance history and technique at Northwestern University in Chicago and at universities, public schools and non-profit organizations in New York.

Amarilys Rios-Rosa

Amarilys Rios, born and currently living in Puerto Rico, is a young Bomba musician and dancer with training as a subidora (the lead drum player who marks the movements of the dancer), a role rarely occupied by women. She currently is the subidora for the Puerto Rico-based all female group NANDI and formerly was a member of the group “Los Relampagos de La Plena”. At the young age of 3, she bagan her training in piano and the flute and by the age of 8 she was enrolled in the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico. In her adulthood, she became interested in Bomba where she developed as a dancer en la escuela Dona Caridad Brenes de Cepeda as a student of Margarita “Tata” Cepeda. Later, she became extremely interested in learning percussion and received musical training from Jerry Ferrao, current musical director of the Puerto Rico-based Bomba group Bambulae.

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