By Tamara L. Underiner
From the dramatization of neighborhood legends to the staging of performs by way of Shakespeare and different canonical playwrights to the exploration of up to date sociopolitical difficulties and their results on girls and kids, Mayan theatre is a flourishing cultural establishment in southern Mexico. a part of a bigger circulate to outline Mayan self-identity and reclaim a Mayan cultural history, theatre in Mayan languages has either mirrored on and contributed to a growing to be wisdom of Mayans as modern cultural and political gamers in Mexico and at the world's level. during this ebook, Tamara Underiner attracts on fieldwork with theatre teams in Chiapas, Tabasco, and Yucat?n to monitor the Maya peoples within the technique of defining themselves via theatrical functionality. She seems to be on the actions of 4 theatre teams or networks, concentrating on their working techniques and on shut analyses of chosen dramatic texts. She exhibits that whereas each one workforce works below the rubric of Mayan or indigenous theatre, their works also are in consistent discussion, war of words, and collaboration with the broader, non-Mayan global. Her observations therefore demonstrate not just how theatre is an agent of cultural self-definition and community-building but additionally how theatre negotiates complicated relatives between indigenous groups in Mayan Mexico, country governments, and non-Mayan artists and researchers.
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Extra info for Contemporary Theatre in Mayan Mexico: Death-Defying Acts
Theatre in the Sociopolitical Space of the Twentieth Century: Mestizaje, Indigenismo, Zapatismo Since the Mexican Revolution, theatre has been a part of many eﬀorts designed to solve the ‘‘problem’’ of indigenous/nonindigenous relations in Mexico, which lay at the heart of attempts to deﬁne the new Mexican state. A key term in this deﬁnition is the Mexican notion of mestizaje. As contested as it is celebrated, it is a concept that began virtually at the point of contact, when it was used to describe social categories resulting from intermarriages between Europeans and natives.
The labeling of contemporary Mayan theatre as a ‘‘Renaissance’’ by some researchers tends to replicate a ‘‘linear and irreversible’’ approach to that history; it suggests the end of a theatrical dark ages ushered in with the Conquest, and narrates Mayan theatre history as one of loss and recapture. I propose an alternate view—that many of the pre-Columbian performance traditions, while interrupted by Conquest, have been rhizomatically cropping up in some form or another, often mixed with or hybridized by other theatrical traditions, since the time of Conquest by the Spanish missionaries.
49 Evangelical zeal without the religion: the theatrical arm of the Cultural Missions was designed to convert the countryside to the aims of the Revolution. According to Donald H. 50 Although over the course of the 1940s oﬃcial support for cinematic ‘‘missions’’ came to eclipse that for theatre and animated cartoons began to take the place of puppets, Frischmann believes that the legacy of the Cultural Missions was important in establishing a precedent in living memory for live theatre in rural areas.