San Antonio

Exploring a Mexican icon’s life through dance in San Antonio

“Soy Malintzin” is a kinetic companion piece of types to an ongoing exhibit on the San Antonio Museum of Art.

SAN ANTONIO — A brief exhibit at present on show at downtown’s San Antonio Museum of Art showcases a number of dozen items – digital pictures, bronze sculptures, work on metallic and canvas and material – in a kaleidoscopic exploration of a Mexican icon’s difficult legacy. Come Friday, dance can be added to that listing. 

Featuring choreography work by Mexico’s Juan Carlos Gaytan, “Soy Malintzin” will see members of the just-down-the-street Guadalupe Dance Company exploring the eponymous determine’s legacy through motion and music. Also known as “Malinche,” she’s an indigenous Aztec girl who performed an instrumental function in Cortes’s conquests in the 1500s for Spain. 

Depending on who you ask – and what info you seek advice from – Malinche is a traitor, a sufferer of her circumstances or a founding determine value revering. The debate’s gray areas imply straightforward conclusions are not possible, making her an acceptable topic for an artwork exhibit.  

It’s that ambiguity that the Guadalupe Dance Company, which specializes in Mexican folklorico (or “folk dance”), will embrace Friday on the historic Guadalupe Theater stage. 

“Normally you have dances that come from the State of Veracruz or the State of Jalisco, and it’s very distinctive. Here it’s more interpretive,” mentioned Jeanette Chavez, who has led the dance company since 2007. “But we do pull from that vocabulary that we have.” 

The present itself, whereas rooted in historic significance, is up to date in model, Chavez says, and primarily based in Aztec rhythms. Running about an hour lengthy and that includes a cohort of Guadalupe Dance Company veterans (in addition to a group of musicians), it permits the dancers to provide their very own interpretation of Malinche’s life. 

Which meant they’d to do a little analysis. 

“I don’t think that Malinche was someone that any of us really knew about in terms of her history and her story,” Chavez mentioned. “And of course there’s not a whole lot of information from her perspective. This is the entire dance company coming together to inform ourselves as we were creating and moving and working.”

That is not new for the Guadalupe Dance Company, which for 31 years has explored Mexican-American tales through unique choreography and inventive productions. 

“Soy Malintzin” manifests that creativity with some key aesthetic choices, like having totally different performers portraying Malinche at totally different factors in her life whereas not strictly adhering to presenting occasions in the order they may have occurred. 

The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) exhibit itself has 60 items, the oldest relationship again a number of centuries. Curator Lucia Abramovich Sanchez, who designed the structure particularly for SAMA, mentioned the museum and Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center share a mission of showcasing tradition through artwork. 

“The Guadalupe Dance Company has the distinctive skill to interpret this theme in a considerate means, and their impression on our neighborhood is plain, Sanchez mentioned.

SAMA initially reached out to the Guadalupe Dance Company in July concerning the potential collaboration, which suggests Chavez and her group had a lot much less time than they normally do to create a wholly unique manufacturing—and to replicate on their very own connections to it. 

“It has definitely been enlightening and interesting, looking in her history… and trying to discover how that makes me feel,” she mentioned. “We are kind of re-approaching and re-imagining her journey, and leaving it up to audiences to come away with hopefully a different perspective of what that journey for her must have been.”

Soy Malintzin,” introduced by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday on the Guadalupe Theater (1301 Guadalupe St.). Tickets begin at $20 and could be bought here. “Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche” is on show at SAMA till Jan. 8. 

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