Coordinating movements: The politics of cuban-mexican dance exchanges, 1959-1983

Elizabeth Schwall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article analyzes the politics of dance collaborations between Cubans and Mexicans from 1959 to 1983. During this period, Mexican modern dancers worked in Cuba, and Cuban ballet dancers in Mexico. Over years of close, visceral encounters, Mexican and Cuban dancers built cultural institutions and international relationships filled with emotional ups and downs. Focusing on the sentiments that guided dancing revolutionaries, this article examines the everyday process of international relations as creative diplomats from Cuba and Mexico coordinated movements in classes, rehearsals, and performances. This article contends that in contrast to the friendly but distant bilateral relations forged by elite politicians in a tense Cold War context, dancers made the Cuban-Mexican relationship an intimate, creative partnership among revolutionary citizens. This demonstrates how the personal and interpersonal, in dialogue with geopolitics and ideology, shaped the cultural Cold War in Latin America and how it changed over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-712
Number of pages32
JournalHAHR - Hispanic American Historical Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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