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Rebellion & Movement: Bomba Liberté

Join Bomba Liberté in a communal dance and history sharing.  

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Join San Diego-based Bomba Liberté in a communal dance and history sharing.  

Bomba is a responsive dance – both in its origins as a reaction against slavery and as a conversation between dancers and musicians – in which the musician responds to the dancer’s movement.


About Bomba Liberté

Bomba Liberté was founded in 2011 by San Diego bomberxs who have been studying and practicing bomba since the early 2000s. In gratitude to ancestral knowledges and to their many teachers, Bomba Liberté works to give continued life to and learn from the many lessons offered by the oldest music and dance tradition from the archipelago of Puerto Rico. Through performances and workshops, this group educates about Afro-Puerto Rican history and culture, while also learning about links between culture, artistry, and personal expression.

Liberté is the French word for "liberty" and appears across the repertoire of traditional bomba songs, reminding us of the influence of radical abolitionism from the neighboring French Antilles and of the collective struggle to be free in the face of racism and colonialism. "Bomba Liberté" refers to the way that bomba has and continues to be used as a way to liberate ourselves from historical and daily struggles. It also calls upon a shared history with other Afro-Caribeñxs and diasporic peoples, reminding us of how music and dance travel with the bodies that move across diaspora.

To practice bomba in California is a daily reminder of this process.


History of Bomba

Brought to Puerto Rico by enslaved people four centuries ago and developed in coastal sugar plantations, Bomba spread across the Caribbean and became a tool for expression. It represented rebellion, a movement against “anti-systemic, anti-racist, and anti-all the oppressions that the slave system created and perpetuated.” Today, music and dancing remain tools for freedom and political transformation.