Information: Olga Najera-Ramirez, author.
Author of "Social and political dimensions of folklorico dance: the binational dialectic of residual and emergent culture," in Western folklore, 48:1 (Jan 1989), p. 15-32. (398.305 C128 V.48 1989 PCL).
SUMMARY OF ARTICLE
Academia dismisses grupos folkloricos as "sheer folklorismus, i.e., commercialized folklore for tourist consumption."
Mexican Dance History
- Indigenous dances: For ritual, festive, and secular purposes.
- Colonial: Spanish dance forms and merged dance forms.
- Porfiriato Period: Popular Europe ballroom dances influenced Mestizo and Norteño dances.
- Romantic Nationalism: Folklore evidences a primitive state, but founds a unique identity while acknowledging diversity.
- S.E.P.: Dances stereotyped, simplified, out of context, for schools.
- El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico of Amalia Hernandez, 1952: Founded to promote Mexican identity abroad; now a tourist attraction. Served to inspire other ballets folkloricos with similar goals. A continuum: public spectacle to preservation of expressive forms of Mexican culture. Not mutually exclusive, but support goes to spectacle because it promotes tourism.
In the United States
- 1930 to 1950 "cookbooks:" Johnson, Schwendener, Mooney, Sedillo: "Stereotypes of Mexicans as happy, colorful but poor and backward people" p. 25.
- "By the 1960s and 1970s folklorico groups had become part of the Mexican tradition albeit a tradition that had been reconstructed in the nationalist period of post-Revolutionary Mexico." p. 27.
- "Although the intention was to get these actual roots of folk dance, Chicanos primarily had access to the folklorico tradition in Mexico rather than the original folk dances." p. 28.
- In Mexico, government sponsored for national unity and to recognize diversity, then for the tourist dollar. In the United States, as a resistance to acculturation.
- Scholarship of Mexican folk and folklorico dance is poor, although they play a vital role in United States-Mexico relations.
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