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WEDNESDAY

A partnership of music and dance, bomba is an Afro-Puerto Rican tradition first developed by slaves on the island’s sugar plantations. Now seen and heard at parks, parties, and concerts, this folkloric creation involves an artistic dialogue between the steps and movements of the dancers and the percussive rhythms of barrel-shaped drums, maracas, and sticks called palillos. In the bilingual documentary Bomba: Dancing the Drum, filmmaker Ashley James and ethnomusicologist Roberta Singer spotlight the Cepeda family, the legendary patriarchal Puerto Rican clan that has kept the bomba style alive for nearly 100 years. Mixing archival and contemporary performance footage, a tour of a drum-making workshop, and interviews with Don Rafael Cepeda, his wife, and their 12 children and grandchildren, this film captures the emotional, spiritual, and cultural role of bomba for both the Cepedas and the Puerto Rican community at large. It screens at 8 p.m. at the Gunston Arts Center, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington. Free. (703) 358-6960. (Steve Kiviat)