OAC
Grupo Caribe

Grupo Caribe was formed in 1982 by husband and wife Jorge and Sulma Rodriguez. They were born and raised in the Puerto Rican community of New York City. Sulma learned her tradition by traveling back to Puerto Rico to visit relatives as a child. She learned the dances form her family and neighbors and participated in festivals, etc. Jose was in the military. He was posted at the Dayton Air Force base. At the time when there was very little Latino cultural activity in Dayton, Jorge and Sulma decided to form their dance company.

While the group is primarily a Puerto Rican folkloric dance troupe that performs mostly plenas, seises, bombas and other Puerto Rican folk dances and fashion the colorful Puerto Rican vegigante masks, their mission is to promote Hispanic cultures through dance. The group’s membership may include dancers of different national origins. Jorge and Sulma encourage members from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and other countries to teach their folk dances to the others. Grupo Caribe has performed in Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and even New York. The group was originally formed by adults only, but more recently it has opened up to children. Presently they have about 25-30 dancers, 20 of whom are adults. Their performances may now involve three generations of dancers on stage at one time. They collaborate with musical groups on occasion; however, most of their performances are done to recorded music. The costumes are all made and owned by Sulma, and they are on loan to the dancers in the company.

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