Review Of "Dancing With The Virgin: Body And Faith In The Fiesta Of Tortugas, New Mexico" By D. Sklar

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Blending dance ethnography, anthropology, and performance theory, Sklar (Univ. of California, Irvine) chronicles a ten-year study of the dances and communities in Tortugas, New Mexico, by focusing on the annual fiesta that honors the Virgin of Guadalupe. She offers a careful movement analysis of the dances and an equally important consideration of the places that an individual's religious faith and responsibility to community have in the continuing life of the dances. This book joins other such works as Sally Ann Ness's Body, Movement, and Culture: Kinesthetic and Visual Symbolism in a Philippine Community (CH, Mar'93) and Barbara Browning's Samba: Resistance in Motion (CH, Apr'96), in which authors study dances through involvement in the community as dancers and participant-observers. All these works explore the complexities that arise in attempting to understand both the kinesthetic experience and the contexts surrounding the dances. And all the authors used their nonnative status as a tool to create a bridge between their own previous dance practices and dance cultures new to them. Sklar includes useful diagrams, musical notation, 16 photographs, thoughtful footnotes, and an extensive bibliography. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars in the fields of dance, ethnology, and anthropology.


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