Category: Beyond the Tourist Gaze

The Flight of a Moment

Dancers are often thought to move their muscles, yet neglect to develop their brains. Dance is absent from most academic studies. Perhaps this is because dance takes place in the flight of a moment. It cannot be placed on a wall, filmed for television or recorded for later listening pleasures. It is something alive and vivid—something that can show national identity or its evolution in history. Cuban choreographer and dancer Ramiro …

Beyond Tourism: Are Blocos Taking Back Carnaval?

A tall and thin, tan, dark-haired young carioca—a native of Rio de Janeiro—is costumed as an indigenous Brazilian. Her long feathered skirt covers flip-flopped feet; atop, a simple cotton tank is adorned with necklaces, armbands obscuring her upper arms. The thick stripe of yellow paint across her eyes and dart of red across the bridge of the nose don’t reveal her intent: soon she is jumping up and down, then swinging round and …

Danzas y Juegos en las Alturas

La difícil transición democrática paraguaya iniciada luego de un cruento golpe de estado contra el dictador Alfredo Stroessner (02-03-89) ha significado para los artistas un nuevo escenario lleno de desafíos emergentes. Desde entonces hemos visto las dificultades de construir un lenguaje lleno de vitalidad, compromiso y de alegría de vivir en libertad….

My Time as a Brazilian Passista

Although my behind is not all that curvaceous and I lack melanin in my skin tone, I somehow managed to pass for as a mulata passista. I am neither mulata nor a trained passista—a young woman, generally with a tiny outfit and curvy physique, who usually dances in front of the bateria during Rio´s carnival parade. I was a Harvard sophomore studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro and my training in ballet, modern and world dance had …

Disabling the “Tourist Gaze”: Protecting and Projecting Cultural Heritage through Dance

We hurried along the slim embankment on the bohemian side of the river as night fell in the city, nervously evaluating our distance from the dimly lit bridge that would carry us to a more cosmopolitan borough. Imagining the theater’s great gilded doors slammed closed before our arrival in the famed sixth district, we struggled to increase our pace, forsaking many sidewalk cafés en route to the night’s festivities but our stiff, …

Dance and the Cold War: Exports to Latin America

It was November 1954 in the middle of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviets had been investing heavily in exporting their artists, and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was convinced we needed to compete in that arena. In November 1954, the José Limón Dance Company was sent by the State Department to perform in Latin America, thus launching the first government-sponsored …

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