Modernism came to Mexico before its revolution as evinced by its embrace of early modern dancer Loïe Fuller. The revolution spawned social changes that allowed the emerging “new woman” to link revolutionary values and theatrical dance. Defining what post-revolutionary Mexican theatrical dance was to be proved problematic as ballet, folk dance, and modern dance vied for prominence. One of the constants was a desire to be both “national” and “universal.” Educator José Vasconcelos’ decision to incorporate folk dancing into the curriculum of Mexico’s public school system in the hopes of establishing a classical dance culture helped cement a national identity that would prove both locally popular and exportable. Painter Miguel Covarrubias led what would be known as the Golden Age of nationalist modern dance in the 1950s, it would be supplanted by balleticized folk dancing in the 1960s.
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