Bomboemia. “A box of surprises”

Bomboemia. “A box of surprises”
Bomboemia. “A box of surprises”

The cultural group consists of several percussion instruments, such as bass drums, toms and samba boxes.

The percussion group of the University of Minho, Bomboémia, was founded in 2005, arising from the traditional group “Zés Pereiras”. Since then, he continues to liven up every corner he goes through. The group rehearses at Bar Académico de Braga and is part of ARCUM (Associação Recreativa e Cultural Universitária do Minho). It operates not only nationally but also cross-border. In an interview with ComUM, the current director, Ricardo Milhazes, portrays what it’s like to belong to Bomboémia.

The director, Ricardo Milhazes, argues that Bomboémia stand out “not only among other cultural groups but also in the panorama of what traditional percussion groups are.” It denotes the evolution and adaptation of the musical styles played by the group, which go through “Brazilian rhythms and Afro rhythms”, being one of the few in Portugal to make this rise beyond traditional music. “In a university context, people manage to connect in a different way compared to other cultural groups. Bomboémia have more energy, which comes naturally with the style of music we play and the movements we do, and that’s where we make the most difference”, he adds.

The director believes that “Bomboémia are a group that lives a lot from the public they have” which, as a rule, is “very receptive”. One of its main values ​​is “to create a family environment, where people can express who they are”, in addition to “having a correct posture in performances”. Ricardo Milhazes explains that “in terms of rehearsals, we always try to create an inclusive and peaceful environment”, so that the members of the group “are there to have fun and decompress from a hard day”. Despite the concern to make everyone feel comfortable, he does not discern the need for “professionalism, in a context in which the group has to prepare for various actions, not only linked to the university, but also to requests from outside, which imply a good level of musical”.

Bearing in mind that “the group needs a lot of activity to keep people connected and united”, Ricardo Milhazes refers to the main objective carried out by Bomboémia in this last year: “to recover what had been lost during the pandemic”. In addition to the impossibility of rehearsing and acting during the most critical pandemic phase, the post-pandemic also proved to be an obstacle, insofar as “a drop in new members” was noted. Thus, a “split of generations between the generation before Covid and the generation that came after”. Consequently, the director confesses that sometimes they have “few people to work with, because many already work and do not have the same availability as university students”. In his conception, those who “have now entered university have lost the routine of participating in this type of groups and activities”. In this sense, he says it is important to combat this consequence, so that members “take advantage and realize that this is really valuable to them”.

Ricardo Milhazes describes the experience of belonging to Bomboémia as “a box of surprises”, because “you enter with an intention”, mainly to have fun, and “after a while you gain a completely different intention”, which goes through “ work for the group”. “You evolve as a person and help others to evolve”, he says.

The director anticipates the return, this year, of the events organized by Bomboémia, such as the “Do Bira ao Samba” festival, of great “magnitude and difficult to manage”. Also “Bohemian Nights” returns, a project carried out only once due to the pandemic. In addition, there are many “other activities organized together with ARCUM” that promise a massive return, after a long wait for the return of cultural events.

Ricardo Milhazes ends with a message encouraging new students to join cultural groups. The director appeals to “follow your instincts, face challenges and not be afraid to try a rehearsal”, because, otherwise, “maybe they missed an opportunity, because they won’t live the same years”. “For the older members of the academic community, which is about to come to an end, we hope that Bomboémia somehow influenced their paths and that they were thrilled with our performances”, he concludes.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Bomboemia box surprises

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