La Falda de Fela (Fela’s Dancing Skirt)

 

June 2017 Bombazo 41 (1 of 1)
Dancer Felicita Hernandez at AfricaCaribe June 2017 Bombazo at the Casita de Don Pedro in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

I took this image last weekend at a Bombazo which is a gathering of people that dance the ancient Bomba dances from Puerto Rico. During the summer months in Chicago, one of the places that Bombazos take place at is at the Casita de Don Pedro on Division Street in Humboldt Park. I was using a 35mm lens on a Nikon D7000, so I did not have the luxury of very wide angles to capture crowds and overall vistas so I was looking at individuals on a short range. So I photograph without being able to imagine the final result.

On this day I was using a 35mm lens on a Nikon D7000, so I did not have the luxury of very wide angles to capture crowds and overall vistas that I so much like, so I was looking at individuals on a short range. So I photographed without being able to imagine the final result. When I put this image on the computer it became evident that besides the drums the symbol of Bomba dancing are the skirts.

On this day I was using a 35mm lens on a Nikon D7000, so I did not have the luxury of very wide angles to capture crowds and overall vistas so I was looking at individuals on a short range. So I photograph without being able to imagine the final result. When I put this image on the computer it became evident that besides the drums the symbol of Bomba dancing are the skirts, your skill level in many ways are determined by how you handle the skirt.

Felicitas or Fela the individual on the image, handles the skirt gracefully and with skill which shows many years of learning and dedication, in fact I think the skirt becomes her and she express what she feels with the skirt. The skirt and her are one.

The moment when you return home – AfriCaribe Dance Recital

afri_caribe_2015_17-
Sarah Maria dancing Bomba at AfriCaribe’s recital

Last night was a night that I felt was a “Homecoming” night for me and I kept thinking of the song by Ruben Blades “Todos Vuelven”. Last night when I first heard the sounds of Bomba music as I walked to La casita de Don Pedro on Division Street, I felt the coming home feeling.

I remember as a child in elementary school how I would practice dancing to bomba music and how many of the kids I grew up with wanted to be Conga players. I was very happy to see AfriCaribe and other groups fostering this beautiful and expressive art form. Last night more then ever I felt very proud to be from Puerto Rico.