El Es Dios!
A Historical Interpretation of Danza Azteca as a Revitalization Movement
Keywords:dance, danza azteca, indigeneity, concheros, chichimeca, mexica, mexika, aztec, Azteka, Mexikayotl, Chicana/o history
This article outlines a brief historical sketch of the Danza Azteca-Chichimeca, or danza for short, which is becoming ubiquitous in areas of the United States with a significant Mexican American population. It looks at its origins during the early colonial period of Mexico, especially its mythological beginnings, to help elucidate the deep foundation of the dance tradition. This sketch also addresses the evolution of danza after it spread from its place of origin in the Bajío into major urban areas like Mexico City, where, once there, it changed due to ideological and political trends that circulated in the post-revolution period. The article also looks at danza’s pseudo-militaristic undertones to suggest that it might have contributed to the growing discontent among peasants and indigenous people, leading to Mexican independence. Some scholars have suggested that it, as a revitalizationist tradition, belongs in the “crisis cult” category. This analysis became evident when danza encountered neo-Aztec philosophies that promoted nationalistic and restorationist ideologies. In sum, the article touches on the popularity of danza in the United States despite the current climate of xenophobia and anti-migration, and nods at its growing international and global appeal.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Ruben A. Arellano
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