Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: September 5 Monica's Log

Would You Care to Dance?

Dresses come to life!]You may remember when Shawn, my Mexico Trek Teammate, his host-brother Hugo, and I visited the National University in Mexico. ("What’s Bigger than Godzilla and has 250,000 Heads?" You can read it by using the calendar and going to August 29!) It took us over an hour to cross the campus to get to a dance presentation we wanted to see. A friend who is in the group invited us. She is leaving to teach in Europe, so this would be her last performance.

We arrived to the sound of lively guitar music, and climbed some steps to see the dazzling sight of women dressed inHold on tight! reds, blues, blacks, and pinks spinning dizzyingly around the stage. The men, in white shirts, bandanas, and large sombreros, clicked their heels and brushed their hats against the ground in rhythm. It was a dance of "El Senor de Chalma." This traditional dance reflects the religious faith of the people of Chalma in Mexico as the dancers pretend they are headed to the Temple of the Senor de Chalma. The men were enthusiastic, yelling and laughing, and the women spread out their skirts and twirled. At the very end, the women formed a human chain, and one of the men jumped into it.

The next dance was all women, called "Mujeres del Sureste," a series of variations on traditional dances in the state of Chiapas. Such stunning dresses--black with embroidered flowers, and a lot of Spanish influence. Marimba Mujeres del sureste music, slow and easy, played in the background, and the women stepped very quietly until the end, when they tapped their feet against the ground.

This dance group is called "La Compana Universitaria de Danzas Folkloricas de Mexico (CUFDM)." Their representative explained to us that most of the dances we saw were recreated from the original steps, and she said, "Whenever you want the dancers to come perform for you, just contact me." The dance company, founded in 1983, has a mission to present the many diverse dances of Mexico across the country, and has also performed in Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay.


Related Dispatches: 
Monica - The Flying Men of Mexico!
Shawn - Serenades for Sale
Monica - Would You Care to Dance?

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