Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Orientalized Aztecs: Observations on the Americanization of Theatrical Dance

  • K. Mitchell Snow

Abstract

The opening decades of the twentieth century saw a passing fashion for “Aztec” dancing in the vaudeville theaters of the United States. Russian classical dancers Kosloff and Fokine tapped the orientalist currents of the Ballets Russes, adopting the Aztec as superficial signs of the American. Conversely, works by Shawn and film director Cecil B. DeMille, which served as points of reference for the Russians, represented a continuation of equally orientalist attitudes toward Mexico's past, forged during the realization of the United States’ policy of Manifest Destiny. The emergence of a cadre of trained dancers from Mexico, trained by students of Kosloff and Shawn, would bring a distinctively different perspective on the presentation of their heritage to the dance stage, one that was no longer based in the imagination of an expansionist America.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Aguilar-Moreno, Manuel. 2006. Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. London: Oxford University Press.
Artcraft Studios Press Book: Exploitation and Publicity Accessories, ‘The Woman God Forgot.’ 1917. New York: Artcraft Studios. Accessed March 20, 2018. https://archive.org/details/paramountpressbo01unse/page/n239?q=%22Woman+God+Forgot%22.
Aulestia, Patricia. 1987. “Nellie Campobello.” Cuadernos del CID DANZA 15: 134.
Aulestia, Patricia. 2003. Las “chicas bien” de Miss Carroll: estudio y Ballet Carroll (1923–1964). México: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.
Aulestia, Patricia. 2012. Despertar de la república dancística mexicana. México: Ríos de Tinta.
Aulestia, Patricia. 2013. Historias alucinantes de un mundo Ecléctico. La danza en México, 1910–1939. México: Impresos Chávez.
Aztec Dance Coming, Says Famous Dancer.” 1917. Artcraft Advance 1 (16) (November 12): 10. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://books.google.com/books?id=tVpJAQAAMAAJ.
Ballet and Ice Carnival Features at Hippodrome.” 1921. The New York Tribune, September 5, 6.
Bartlett, Randolph. 1918. “The Shadow Stage: The Woman God Forgot.” Photoplay: The Aristocrat of Motion Picture Magazines 13 (2) (January): 6667.
Beaumont, Cyril W. 1935. Michel Fokine & His Ballets. London: C. W. Beaumont.
Birchard, Robert S. 2004. Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
Chavero, Alfredo. 1884. Historia antigua y de la conquista. Vol. 1 of México a través de los siglos, edited by Palacio, Vicente Riva. México: Ballescá y compañía.
Covarrubias, Miguel. (1952) 2002. “Florecimiento de la danza.” Reprinted in Danza en México: visiones de cinco siglos, Volume II, Antología: cinco siglos de crónicas, critica y documentos (1521–2002), edited by Smith, Maya Ramos and Lang, Patricia Cardona, 409424. México: Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información de la Danza José Limón.
Crown Jewels of Spain in ‘Woman God Forgot.’2017. Artcraft Advance 1 (16) (July 30): 6.
Delpar, Helen. 1992. The Enormous Vogue of Things Mexican: Cultural Relations Between the United States and Mexico, 1920–1935. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press.
DeMille, Cecil B, dir. 1917. The Woman God Forgot (DVD). Moraga, CA: Silent Hall of Fame Enterprises, 2016.
Denishawn Dancers. 1926. New York: Aeolian Hall. Souvenir Program.
Evans, R. Tripp. 2004. Romancing the Maya: Mexican Antiquity in the American Imagination 1820–1915. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Fair, Charles. 1918. “Costuming a Cinema Spectacle.” Motion Picture Magazine 14 (12) (January): 4750.
Franchot, Jenny. 1994. Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism. Berkeley: University of California Press. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1x0nb0f3/.
Garafola, Lynn. (1989) 1998. Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. New York: DaCapo Press.
Garafola, Lynn. 2005. Legacies of Twentieth-Century Dance. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Graham, Martha. 1991. Blood Memory. New York: Doubleday.
Gutiérrez, Ramón A. 1999. “Crucifixion, Slavery, and Death: The Hermanos Penitentes of the Southwest.” In Over the Edge: Remapping the American West, edited by Matsumoto, Valerie J. and Allmendinger, Blake, 253267. Berkeley: University of California Press. Accessed April 6, 2018. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft8g5008gq/
Hawaiian Music Universally Popular.” 1916. The Edison Phonograph Monthly 14 (9) (September): 34.
Hobsbawm, Eric J. 2012. Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Horwitz, Dawn Lille. 1985. Michel Fokine. Boston: Dwayne Publishers.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Eleventh Season 1952 Ninth Week. 1952. Jacob's Pillow Archives. Program. Accessed May 1, 2018. http://archives.jacobspillow.org/index.php/Detail/objects/4798.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Season of 1942, 6th Program, Saturday August 15. 1942. Jacob's Pillow Archives. Program. Accessed April 11, 2018. http://archives.jacobspillow.org/index.php/Detail/objects/4698.
Kendall, Elizabeth. 1979. Where She Danced: The Birth of American Art-dance. Berkeley: University of California Press.
King, Frederick A. 1916. “Legends of the Ballets.” In Souvenir Serge de Diaghileff's Ballet Russe. New York: Morris Gest. Program.
Kosloff Now Happy.” 1917. Los Angeles Times, September 9, Section III, 22.
Lancos, Jonette. 2007. Reclaiming Charles Weidman (1901–1975): An American Dancer's Life and Legacy. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.
Levin, David. (1959) 1995. History as Romantic Art: Bancroft, Prescott, Motley, and Parkman. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Accessed April 27, 2018. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/LEVIN/levcol.html.
Levine, Debra. 2009. “Theodore Kosloff Cut a Fouette Figure.” Los Angeles Times, April 5. Accessed March 23, 2018. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-ca-kosloff5-2009apr05-story.html.
Libbey, Len. 1918. “Boston.” Variety 49 (12) (February 15): 38.
Limón, José. 1951. “The Making of Tonanzintla.” Dance Magazine 25 (8): 1215.
López Orozco, Leticia. 2010. “Salvador Almaraz y su epopeya mural.” Crónicas. El muralismo, producto de la Revolución Mexicana, en América 14: 85110.
Miss Shaughnessy Appears With Dancers.” 2017. Deseret News, October 25, 14.
Mollie King at the Palace.” 2018. The New York Times, January 22, 9.
Morris, Michael. 1991. Madam Valentino: The Many Lives of Natacha Rambova. New York: Abbeville Press.
Murphy, Jacqueline Shea. 2007. The People Have Never Stopped Dancing: Native American Modern Dance Histories. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
“O, Libertad!” by Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers. 1938. Lenox, MA: Annual Berkshire Symphonic Festival. Program. Accessed April 28, 2018. http://springfieldcollege.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15370coll2/id/15873/.
Medina, Ortega y, Juan. 1962. Ensayos, tareas, y estudios históricos. Xalapa: Universidad Veracruzana.
Parker, Robert L. 1985. “Carlos Chávez and the Ballet: A Study in Persistence.” Dance Chronicle 8 (3–4): 179210.
Prescott, William H. (1843) 1936. History of the Conquest of Mexico. New York: The Modern Library.
Prevots, Naima. 1987. Dancing in the Sun: Hollywood Choreographers, 1915–1937. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Research Press.
Pritchard, Jane. 2013. “A Giant that Continues to Grow: The Impact, Influence and Legacy of the Ballets Russes.” In Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929, When Art Danced With Music, edited by Pritchard, Jane, 205222. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art.
Pueblo Indian Languages.” n.d. Native Languages of the Americas: Preserving and Promoting American Indian Languages. Accessed April 10, 2018. http://www.native-languages.org/pueblo.htm.
de la Hoz, Rodriguez, Pamela, Monica. 2014. “A Forgotten Composer and His Music: Two Viola Compositions by Arends.” PhD. diss. Louisiana State University: Baton Rouge.
Said, Edward W. [1978] 1980. Orientalism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Schlundt, Christena L. 1962. Professional Appearances of Ruth St. Denis & Ted Shawn: A Chronology and an Index of Dances, 1906–1932. New York: The New York Public Library.
Scolieri, Paul A. 2013. Dancing the New World: Aztecs, Spaniards, and the Choreography of Conquest. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Shawn, Ted. 1920. Ruth St. Denis, Pioneer & Prophet: Being a History of Her Cycle of Oriental Dances. San Francisco: Printed for John Howell by John Henry Nash.
Shawn, Ted. 1926. The American Ballet. New York: Henry Holt.
Shawn, Ted. 1960. One Thousand One Night Stands. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Sherman, Jane. 1979. The Drama of Denishawn Dance. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Sherman, Jane. 1989. “The American Indian Imagery of Ted Shawn.” Dance Chronicle 12 (3): 366382.
Sherman, Jane, and Mumaw, Barton. 2000. Barton Mumaw, Dancer: From Denishawn to Jacob's Pillow and Beyond. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press.
Snow, K. Mitchell. 2017. “Martha Graham, Mexico, and the American Gesture.” Dance Chronicle 40 (1): 124.
St. Denis, Ruth. 1939. An Unfinished Life. New York: Harper Brothers.
The Stage and the Screen.” 1917. Salt Lake Tribune, October 21, 6667.
Stephens, John L. (1841) 1848. Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan. Vol. 1. 12th ed. New York: Harper and Brothers. Accessed March 23, 2019. https://archive.org/details/incidentstravel02stepgoog/page/n10.
Supreme Dancing Act of World Headlines New Show at Orpheum.” 1917. Salt Lake Telegram, October 23, 10.
Tenorio-Trillo, Mauricio. 1996. Mexico at the World's Fairs: Crafting a Modern Nation. Berkeley: University of California Press. Accessed December 31, 2014. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft2k4004k4/
Terry, Walter. 1971. The Dance in America. New York: Harper and Row Publishers.
Theodore Kosloff at the Orpheum Thursday.” 1917. Daily Nebraskan, November 7, 3.
Tortajada Quiroz, Margarita. 2008a. Danza y Poder. 2 vols. México: Conaculta-INBA-Cenart, Biblioteca Digital Cenidi Danza. Accessed January 3, 2017. http://cenididanza.inba.gob.mx/PublicacionesBD/MTortajada/index.html.
Tortajada Quiroz, Margarita. 2008b. “La Coronela de Waldeen: una danza revolucionaria.” Casa del Tiempo 1 (8) (junio): 5460.
Tortajada Quiroz, Margarita. 2013. “Guillermo Arriaga, aferrado a su tierra y a su danza.” In Lazos y ecos de la obra de Miguel Covarrubias. Arriaga, Castro, Sagaón, edited by Quiroz, Margarita Tortajada, Maria de Jesús Ángel, Rodríguez, and Lynton, Anadel, 27113. México: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura.
U.S. Involvement in the Mexican Revolution.” n.d. The Mexican Revolution and the United States in the Collections of the Library of Congress. Library of Congress. Accessed April 4, 2018. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/mexican-revolution-and-the-united-states/us-involvement-in-the-revolution.html.
Wallace, Lew. (1873) 1898. The Fair God: A Tale of the Conquest of Mexico. 2 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Company.
Weeks, William Earl. 1996. Building the Continental Empire: American Expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, Inc.
Woollcott, Alexander. 1921. “The Play.” The New York Times, September 5, 15.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Orientalized Aztecs: Observations on the Americanization of Theatrical Dance

  • K. Mitchell Snow

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.