Public performances of epic tales, historical events and religious narratives are a key part of modern life in Mexico. Dance dramas, presented in city streets and church plazas, embody a community’s essential beliefs and common human problems while imparting moral lessons.
The performer’s mask is a vehicle of transformation that physically and psychologically converts the wearer into the character portrayed by the dancer. In the altered state of being, the performer sheds his/her everyday identity and the social boundaries of human behavior. He/she now operates as an uninhibited intermediary between the community and the message being invoked.
The works presented here come from the primary mask-producing regions of Mexico where dance performances commonly accompany religious rituals and civic events. Particularly rich in pageant traditions and variety of performance masks are the states of Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Sonora, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Hidalgo and Guerrero.
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