San Antonio's Guadalupe Dance Company debuts its production Soy Malintzin on Friday

The production is commissioned by the San Antonio Museum of Art and inspired by the exhibition 'Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche,' currently on view at the museum.

click to enlarge Guadalupe Dance Company's production reimagines Malintzin's controversial role as mother of Cortés' first-born son and a key figure in the fall of the Aztec Empire. - David Machada
David Machada
Guadalupe Dance Company's production reimagines Malintzin's controversial role as mother of Cortés' first-born son and a key figure in the fall of the Aztec Empire.
Often referred to as the mother of modern Mexico, Malintzin — or La Malinche as she was also known — was an enslaved indigenous girl who served as Hernán Cortés' linguistic and cultural interpreter.

Malintzin is now the subject of an original production titled Soy Malintzin, a contemporary dance performance by the Guadalupe Dance Company, with choreographic work by Juan Carlos Gaytan of Colima, Mexico.

The production reimagines Malintzin's controversial role as mother of Cortés' first-born son and a key figure in the fall of the Aztec Empire. Malintzin is both revered and reviled, providing fodder and inspiration for artists and writers throughout the centuries. First seen as a traitor to her people for siding with the Spanish, Malintzin was later redeemed as a hero by Chicano artists, who viewed her through the eyes of self-empowerment.

The production is commissioned by the San Antonio Museum of Art and inspired by the exhibition "Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche," currently on view at the museum.

"SAMA relishes the opportunity to learn and work in conjunction with our community leaders to present a robust calendar of events for all ages that complements this multifaceted exhibition and illustrates Malinche's relevance to our city and culture," said SAMA Director Emily Ballew Neff.

Guadalupe Dance Company, known for its folklórico and flamenco dance programming to preserve both Latino and Native American culture, seems to be an ideal fit for the exploration of the iconic figure. For this performance, the dance company will be accompanied by Mariachi Azteca de América.

$20-$30, 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St., (210) 271-3151, guadalupeculturalarts.org.

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