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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses five case studies of dance competition contexts in Mexico, between 1931 and 2016. The Dance of the Old Men (La Danza de los Viejitos) from the Island of Jarácuaro, Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico, forms the focus. After being appropriated through postrevolutionary governmental processes of nation building in 1923 and simultaneously utilized as an embodiment of Mexicanness for the ever-expanding tourist industry, the Dance of the Old Men has been a corporeal icon of tradition, authenticity, and Indigenousness. Competition environments have enabled the fixing and dissemination of this dance and, in later contexts, the reappropriation of concepts of “tradition.” The five examples include the Cultural Missions; publications for national boarding schools; Night of the Dead entertainment for international and national tourists; locally organized National Indigenous Institute contests; and the Zacán Artistic Contest of the P’urhépecha People.

Keywords: Mexico, dance, nationalism, tourism, P’urhépecha, Indigenous, Michoacán

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