The Aztec Dance, “Danza Azteca” in Spanish or “Mi’totiliztli” in Nahuatl, is one of the most basic manifestations of the artistic and cultural spirit of the native people of Mexico. It is a mixture of thousands of years of history of both the agrarian and militaristic ethnic groups of the area, and the integration of Pre-Columbian and Christian rituals as evolved over the centuries.
The Dance represents the eternal search of man for cosmic harmony and integration, both of his body and his spirit. All the chants of Aztec Dance ritual refer to this essential process.The Aztec Dance has been referred to as a form of prayer and a total way of life and communication. Each routine reflects the duality of the Aztec culture. With women, the night, the jaguar and the earth on one side. With men, the day, the eagle and water on the other.
Entertainment is not the principal objective; rather, honoring the elements and forming a link with the cosmos is the overall goal of the Aztec/Concheros’ dance. For that reason, the four cardinal points are blessed before the start of the routine, and the steps are dedicated to the harvest, fertility, earth, fire, and water.
There are also several instruments incorporated into the performance, such as the concha de armadillo (armadillo conch) guitar from which they take their name, the huehuétl and teponastli drums, ayoyotes and ayacachtlis / ankle and hand rattles. The dancers unite to create a corporal expression to connect with mother nature and our ancestors.