Treated as a footnote rather then a significant part of Chicana/o liberation, Aztec ritual and performance dance is arguably the most under-researched practice associated with Chicana/o identity. The birth of an Aztec Dance community in Los Angeles County during the 1970's signals the importance of this ritual practice. Focusing on how Chicana/o culture influences traditional Aztec dance culture, this thesis examines several ways contemporary Chicana/o Danzantes (Mesoamerican dancers) articulate identity through the spatial distribution of Aztec ritual and performance dance. Relying on four-months of ethnohistoric research on three Aztec dance groups, I argue participation is part of a large response to a culturally bias political system rooted in White normativity and White privilege. An additional argument goes against labeling this community as homogenous. The comparisons I drew between traditional Danzantes and contemporary Chicana/o Danzantes reveals an otherwise heterogeneous community with two respective approaches towards liberation. Evidence for these conclusions is hidden in the dancing bodies that are at the center of every Aztec dance circle.
|Advisor:||Loewe, Ronald B.|
|Commitee:||Estrada, Gabriel, Wilson, Scott|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 54/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Dance, Latin American Studies, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||California, Chicano history, Chicano identity, Cultural identity, Identity studies, Mesoamerican studies|
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