Ibarra1Leslie IbarraMr. NenniEnglish 316 March 2012 Mexico is a very diverse country that includes 31 states and the federal district where thenational capital, Mexico City, is located. There are a variety of dances in different states andregions of Mexico. Dances that are native to Mexico must be imported to past down togenerations so the history will not be lost. (TIFCP) Mexico has a long and rich tradition of dances. This includes the dances performed by theindigenous groups such as the Aztecs and Mayans. The early Amerindian dances included ritualand secular dances. All the traditional dances each have very different roots and styles. Theybring various aspect of Mexican culture to the audiences who see them performed. TraditionalMexican dances provide a glimpse into the culture of the region. Like the Mexican Hat Dancewas named the national dance of Mexico in 1924 in an effort to bring together several differentcultures together as national identity. La Danza Del Venado, known as the deer dance, is aritualistic dance performed primarily in the Yaqui region of Mexico, by the people of the samename as the region. The deer dance is another traditional Mexican dance that is ritualistic. Thedance illustrates a deer hunt and it is performed by the group of dancers who play the roles of thehunters and deer itself. (LTK) Performers that play the role of the hunters wear wooden masks and bells and the onesthat play a role of a deer have an elaborate headdress and minimal costuming otherwise. Those
Ibarra2dancers that play a deer must jump; walk and move like a deer and finally pretend to die like one.This dance has great symbolic meaning because in the area where this dance originated from themain source of food was deer. Deer dance is not the only Mexican dance that mimics an animal.In fact there are many other dances alike and one of them is the Iguana dance which is the dancethat glorifies the strength and the graceful movements of the iguana.Guadalajara is home of thenational dance of Mexico, the Jarabe Tapatia. “Jarabe” is a term refers generally to a type ofMexican traditional music that uses multiple meters. “Tapatia” is a term that indicates thatsomething is from Guadalajara.(LTK) Dancing was such an integral part of Pre-Hispanic culture, children were taught to dancebefore being introduced to more formal education.The dances of modern Mexico were a mix ofthe traditional Mexican style and the Spanish style. There were intermarriages between theSpanish and the Mexicans, and the children from these marriages began following customs ofboth Mexico and Spain. This reflected in the music and dance of the region as well. (Markovich,Miki) Folk dances in Mexico have traditionally been a way of honoring the Mexican cultureand a representation of the struggles and joys of the daily Mexican life. It is a celebration of thereligious and cultural rituals and festivals, celebrated by the people of that place. The origin ofMexican folk dances lies in the Mesoamerican days, when ritualistic dance was performed toappease the deities by the Mayans and the Aztecs. When the Spanish arrived in the early 16thcentury, they brought with them, the European-style dances such as the waltz, ballet, polka andschottische, which greatly influenced the indigenous dance form. Subsequent conquests allowedthe German, French, Spanish and Italian dances, to mingle with the original folk dance and theemergence of three forms of Mexican folk dance. The first is danza, which is an indigenous
Ibarra3ritual dance, performed in religious or community settings. The second category of Mexican folkdance forms is mestizo, which showcases the western influences on the indigenous dance, ineither the steps or the theme. The bailes regionales or the regional dances, are a manifestation ofthe dance form by each community. This is usually presented in community and theatricalperformances.(Markovich, Miki) Many Mexican families are planted firmly in religious faith and the rich intricacies ofgenerational traditions and celebrations observed year after year. Dance has long played a role inthese special days, such as coming-of-age parties, religious events, and agricultural celebrations. In Mexico there is a dance for everything. There are dances for weddings, for funerals,for national celebrations, for death, for birth, for rain, for agriculture, for people in love, forpeople that “dance around” love; there are also "animal” dances and many, many other.In otherwards Mexicans dance when they are happy and celebrating, when they are sad and mourning,when they are hopeful and in love or broken hearted. No matter what is happening, there isalways music and dance to express ones feelings.(TMD) The Tlacolorerosis dance is the Mexican agricultural dance that is performed in theMexican state Guerrero. This dance has it origin in the Aztec’s religious beliefs and its purposeis to prepare the land for cultivation. Dancers wear large masks that represent animals and aredirected by a captain while dancing to the violin music. Dancers are marking the rhythm withtheir whips and imitating the crackling of the fire as it burns the tree. In fact the entire dancerepresents the burning of the bushes and the cleaning of the corn-patch. (TMD)
Ibarra4 As you know Mexico is very diverse country and different parts of Mexico were underthe different cultural influences such as Spanish, French or Central Europe. For example theMexican state of Nuevo Leon with its great influence of Central Europe (Czech Republic,Germany, Austria, etc.) is known for its “polka” which is a lively Central European dance thatoriginated in the Czech Republic in the middle of the 19th century. Interesting thing about theinfluence of the Central European culture on Mexican culture is the fact that Mexican Bandamusic (type of traditional Mexican music) is a derivative of European polka music. Howevereven though Mexican Banda music has its roots in European culture it is very Mexican andunique. (MFDT) In conclusion Traditional Mexican dances are a rich and important part of traditionalMexican culture and they represent a true treasure of Mexican people.
Ibarra5 Work Cited Pages1. "The Dances of Mexico." The Institute for Cultural Partnerships. Web. 14 Mar. 2012.2. "Traditional Dances of Mexico." LoveToKnow. Web. 14 Mar. 2012.3. "Mexican Folklore Dance Traditions." Unique Weddings. Web. 15 Mar. 20124. Markovich, Miki. "History of Dance in Mexico." EHow. Demand Media, 25 July 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 20125. "Traditional Mexican Dances." Mexican Culture: Traditional, Food, Clothing, Recipes, Games, Girls. Web. 15 Mar. 2012