Center for Race and Gender Thursday Forum


The Politics of Performance: Fiesta, Dance, & Creative Publics


Devil Moves: The figure of the devil in popular fiestas and carnivals of the Americas
Prof. Angela Marino, Theater, Dance & Performance Studies
The devil figure in fiestas and carnivals is one of the most beloved across the hemisphere. It shows up as vejigantes, cojuelos, jab jabs, and diablitos to name a few. By tracing these multiple devil figures in fiestas, religious manifestations and carnivals, they also tell a story of political organization and territorial claims. This talk will present a site and book project on Festive Devils of the Americas, to discuss how these important figures of the fiesta leave a trail of material and embodied evidence of the persecution of that which was named pagan, and also a practice of reintegration and historical continuity across national boundaries.
La expresión de un sentimiento: Mexican dance for transnational publics
Prof. Olga Najera-Ramirez, UC Santa Cruz
This paper draws upon my larger research project on Mexican folkórico dance as a cultural expression, one that merits research as a cultural movement sustaining and creating cultural vibrancy in communities in Mexico and the United States. In this presentation, I focus on distinguished artist, Rafael Zamarripa Castañeda, who has had an extraordinary impact on the transnational development of folkórico dance. Zamarripa is a central innovator in the field. He recognized that beyond being a traditional form of expression that should be preserved, folkórico is a very live and generative art form that builds community and connection to cultural heritage. Based on original research, I offer an intimate portrayal of Zamarripa as a multidisciplinary artist (theater, dance, visual arts) and visionary leader committed to humanizing society through the arts and highlight his significant contributions to the widespread growth of Mexican folkórico dance