La Noche del Jaguar: an ancestral dance performance on a jungle stage
[Spring 2012] I met art teacher Zita Vargas through her husband Erick, whom I knew as a guide in the Tulum ruins. They both lived in an off-grid community north of Playa del Carmen called Sac Be. By choice, she and her family lived with candle light only, without any electricity.
Zita choreographed the awesome performance La Noche del Jaguar, a representation of the highlights of Mayan culture. In the ensemble were two high-caliber dancers who had been deeply committed to ancestral and ritual dance for over two decades. One of them was a former archaeologist. These two had traveled and lived abroad to share their culture. Zita’s husband Erick took the role of the Chilam Balam, the storyteller to guide the audience through the performance.
I joined one of their rehearsals in Sac Be and we made plans to offer their performance to visitors in the hotels. Not only as a meaningful alternative to mainstream entertainment, but also as an inspiration for those who were curious about the 2012 phenomenon and the Mayan prophecies.
The play was set in the beautiful jungle auditorium, surrounded by lush tropical foliage and adjacent to cenote. The auditorium held about 150 visitors.
While editing my original post from 2012, I came across another wonderful resource from a fellow blogger: This post of hers has great photography of Sac Be, too. Find out more about the community of Sac Be here.