Deidre Sklar went to Tortugas, New Mexico, where an annual three-day fiesta honors the Virgin of Guadalupe, in order to seek answers to her questions about community, performance, and the embodiment of belief. How do we know what we know? Where do we belong, and how do we fit in? Sklar's own background and learned values form the conscious, constantly challenged raw material for the undertaking, and the intimate language of the body and sensation is her medium. Her ten-year study and movement analysis of the sacred dances and the "backstage" work involved in the festival take her deep into the life of the community, as dancer, participant-observer, and self-interrogating woman merge in a vividly narrated experience of "communal sacred time."
Deidre Sklar is Research Associate at Oberlin College.
This book -- at once personal and analytical -- explores, in vibrant detail and compelling depth, the capacity of movement to express the way that human beings experience their lives and identities. In recounting her exploration of a town in the American Southwest, Deidre Sklar examines themes common to cultures around the world."—Benjamin S. Orlove, editor of The Allure of the Foreign