Photo of the week: Mexican dancers

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Mexico’s a country that’s often reduced to a stereotype: sombreros, mariachis, tacos and tequila. But as I’ve written before, the country is much more than its stereotype. In fact, Mexican culture runs deep, drawing on colonial Spanish traditions and mixing in the arts and crafts of the country’s many native groups.

One of the arts at which Mexico excels is dance. Long ago, I had the chance to see the famous Ballet Folklórico de México perform a wonderful  show at a theatre in Merida, the cultural capital of the Yucatan. And more recently, on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, my favourite Mexican getaway, I arrived at the local square to find a full-scale dance show about to start.

There were kids in peasant costumes, soldiers in revolutionary uniforms, lovely señoritas with flowing dresses and flowers in their hair — a kind of snapshot of Mexican culture. But what impressed me most was how they used the movement of the dancers and their costumes to create a visual spectacle. Somehow, this mad swirl of colour and motion revealed the true essence of Mexico, a side often lost beneath the Taco Bell exterior most of us see.

I liked the dance performance so much that I devoted an entire post to it. And looking back, I thought it was worth bringing back at least one image to inspire those of you thinking of heading to Mexico this winter — and those of you who aren’t.

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Paul Marshman is a retired journalist who spent 30 years as a writer and editor on Canadian newspapers, while travelling to the ends of the earth. Now he continues to travel while passing on his travel experiences to you.

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