Dancing Throughout Mexican History (1325-1910) Book

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IDancing Throughout Mexican History (1325-1910) written by Sanjuanita Martínez-Hunter and edited by Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia is now available for purchase on amazon.com. For more information, click on the link below.


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Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia edited this book after her aunt, Sanjuanita Martínez-Hunter’s passing in 2016. This book is a tribute to Martínez-Hunter’s life-long passion for dance which still continues through the work of her students.

Dancing Throughout Mexican History (1325-1910) reveals the ways in which Mexican History is intertwined with dance. Martínez-Hunter begins by skillfully narrating the crucial role that dance played in the lives of the Aztec people. Then, Martínez-Hunter details the ways in which the Spanish defeated the Aztecs and how this changed the dances of these Indigenous people. She writes of the dance dramas that arose when the Spanish began to Christianize the Indigenous people. Her research shows how the Mexican people survived the brutality of colonization through dance. She also writes of the Indigenous, mestizo, Chilean, and African influences on the dances of Mexico. Martínez-Hunter describes the dances during the time of Mexico’s Independence from Spain (1810-1821), the Reform War (1857-1861), the French Intervention (1861-1867), and the beginnings of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). Martínez-Hunter analyzes the European ballroom dances of these periods with their popularity coming from the aristocracy of Mexico. She juxtaposes the European ballroom dances with the dances of the peasant people known as jarabes and sones. Included in this book are pictures from the 1970s of members of the University of Texas at Austin Ballet Folklorico of which Martínez-Hunter was a faculty sponsor. The dancers are pictured in costume performing the different sones of Mexico. This book is a way of honoring the memory and contributions of this influential Dance legend.