The Spaceworks and El Puente CADRE Dance Lit Residency is a community-based residency program for dancemakers to build deeper connections with communities where they create work.

As part of this program, Spaceworks and El Puente awarded residencies to artists from CADRE, El Puente's network of mostly Latino community artists, artisans and cultural workers rooted in North Brooklyn, to explore the relationships between literature, language and dance. Meet the selected artists below and stay tuned for ways to get involved in upcoming programs and performances!

During her Dance Lit residency, Melinda González will connect Bomba, a traditional Afro Puerto Rican artistic expression, with the poem, “Yo misma fui mi ruta/I was my own path” by beloved Puerto Rican poet, Julia de Burgos in a series of workshops and community talks.

Workshops will begin with a recitation of the poem and a discussion of its central themes as well as its use of literary devices and how participants can connect it to their own lives. Participants will learn to dance bomba with and without a bomba skirt or props. 

Melinda will also host a series of community talks:

  • Afro Puerto Rican history and culture (April 10, 2017, 3-5pm)
  • The early Puerto Rican community in Brooklyn from 1920-1940 known as Los Pioneros/as (April 24, 2017, 3-5pm)
  • Reading Jesus Colon, A Puerto Rican in NY (May 8, 2017, 3-5pm)
  • The radical feminist poetry of Julia de Burgos (May 22, 2017, 4-6pm)

About the Artist: Melinda González is the Co-director of BombaYo, an intergenerational Afro Puerto Rican traditional drum and dance ensemble. A Brooklyn native, Melinda serves as an artist, activist, and advocate for the Williamsburg community, spreading the rich message of Bomba to New Yorkers. Melinda is also a Development Specialist of El Puente’s CADRE network that engages mostly Latino community artists rooted in North Brooklyn to exchange ideas, share resources, develop and present work, and design and implement strategies for community sustainability.

Students will be encouraged to read and explicate a piece of poetry during class and then create guided choreography with the choreographer. Each student will be exposed to many dance forms such as West African dance, West Indian Dance, Bhangra, Modern, Kathak, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop and Lyrical.

  • 18 and up Adult Level runs Tuesdays, 2-3:30pm from March 7 through April 25, 2017
  • Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School students in grades 5-8 will be in class with Janelle Fridays, 1-2:30pm from March 10 through April 28, 2017

Janelle will host a public showcase of the classes' work on April 29, 2017 from 12-4pm at Spaceworks @ Williamsburgh Library.

About the Artist: Janelle is a dancer and musician hailing from Connecticut. A graduate of New York University, Janelle is now an adjunct professor at NYU teaching the fundamentals of hip hop. She is also a Dance Facilitator at El Puente’s Beacon program and at its Academy for Peace and Justice, a Hip Hop/Step Instructor at Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School, a Step Facilitator at MS 50, and Company Director and Lyrical Team Coach at April’s Dancing Feet. In the music industry, Janelle has worked with Sony Music, Universal Music Group, J records, New York Music Awards, MTV and BMI.

Dance Lit is operated by Spaceworks and El Puente CADRE and is made possible through a partnership with Brooklyn Public Library and support from the National Endowment for the Arts.