Shaping Society Through Dance

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-06-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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During the patron saint fiesta in the Andean town of San Jeroacute;nimo, Peru, crowds gather at sunset in the town square, eagerly awaiting the entrance of the colorful dance troupes, orcomparsas. With their masks, music, and surprising interpretations of contemporary events, thecomparsasof the Cusco region are the focus of this multifaceted work. At the crossroads of folklore and ritual, mass media and local preferences, and regional and national identity, thecomparsasrecorded here on video and compact dischave become a powerful way for the local people to make sense of their place in Peru and in the world. As Zoila Mendoza shows, they do more than reflect societal changes, they actively transform society. In this fluid world, she argues, racial and ethnic identities are shaped more by notions of what is decent, elegant, and modern rather than by skin color or status. As the different troupes vie for the townspeople's recognition as the most "authentic" group, these notions are challenged and reworked. A fascinating look at a rich tradition, this innovative work is also a compelling example of the critical anthropology of performance.

Author Biography

Elizabeth A. Kaye specializes in communications as part of her coaching and consulting practice. She has edited Requirements for Certification since the 2000-01 edition.

Table of Contents

Contents of Compact Disc ix
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments xiii
An Introduction to the Study of Ritual Dance Performance in the Andes
Folklore, Authenticity, and Traditions in Cusco Regional Identity
The People of San Jeronimo, Their Lives, and Their Main Ritual in Regional and Historical Perspectives
The Majenos Comparsa Power, Prestige, and Masculinity among Mestizos
Genuine but Marginal Cultural Belonging, Social Subordination, and the Carnivalesque in the Qollas Performance
Contesting Identities through Altiplano Danzas Gender and Generational Conflicts in the Cusco Region
Reflections on the Relationship between Performance and Society
Notes 241(24)
References 265(10)
Contents of Video 275(2)
Index 277

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