Dance plays an important role in Puerto Rican culture because it goes hand in hand with the island’s rich musical heritage. But for the most part, dance is about moving to the groove of live music or DJs, whether it’s at a nightclub, an outdoor concert in the town plaza, or at one of the island’s countless festivals. Dance is integral to bomba, plena, salsa, and reggaetón music, and the thing all those forms of movement have in common is this: It’s all in the hips! The exception is the ballroom style of danza.
When it comes to dance performance, the island leader is Guateque, the folkloric ballet of Puerto Rico. For more than 20 years this 40-member dance company and school based on Corozal has been preserving and performing the island’s traditional dances, as well as adapting them into new productions. Past productions include Los Taínos de Borkén and Los Dioses (The Gods), which depict daily life and spirituality of the island’s indigenous Indians.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition