The Ayala Brothers Folkloric Ballet specializes in the “bomba” dance tradition of Loíza, Puerto Rico since its formation in 1959, under the initiative and leadership of Castor Ayala Fuente. At a time when bomba dancing was almost inexistent, this group of dancers and drummers awakened the interest not only of practicing artists but of those that wanted to see the group perform, including performances on TV.
Throughout their 60 year-long artistic careers, the Ayala brothers have promoted and broadcasted the bomba dance tradition in and outside Puerto Rico. In 1973, they became the first foreign cultural, artistic delegation to participate in the Mexican Independence Parade Celebration.
In the United States, they have performed at Hostos Community College, Symphony Space, and Central Park in New York City, in Boston, at Villa Victoria Center and Clifford Park. In addition, they have performed at the Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University, Washington, D.C ., and in venues across Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois among others. Internationally, they have performed in Perú, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, and the Ballet has participated in TV presentations in Spain as well as in documentaries for English and French television. They were featured in the Discovery Channel Travel and Living, about the St. James Festival tradition of Loíza, and they performed in the Organización de Telecomunicaciones de Iberoamérica (OTI) Latin American Song Festival.
In summary, the Ayala Brothers Folkloric Ballet have helped rescue the Puerto Rican bomba from almost complete obscurity, and have, with their performances, cooperation in documentaries, theater, TV, festivals, etc. have been able to educate the public, in Puerto Rico and internationally. They are the role model for the formation of multiple groups and ensembles that keep bomba alive today.
Currently, the group is led by Raúl & Raquel Ayala.
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