Salón México

An immersive dance performance revealing the deep cultural and personal narratives that pulse through Tijuana's nightlife.

Dance

 Scenic Designer • Fabricator • Producer

2024
"Salón México" is an exploration of Tijuana's vibrant, yet nuanced, cultural landscape within the confines of one of its dance halls. Audiences step back into the vibrant and tumultuous 1990s Tijuana, immersed in the atmosphere of a dance hall that stands as a testament to the city's intricate social and cultural dynamics. This multidisciplinary performance delves into the essence of a night out in this border city, capturing the myriad personalities and complex interactions that thread through the fabric of Tijuana's society.


The set acts as both a refuge and a portal—a dream-like escape that momentarily allows those on this side of the border to grasp the realities shaped by the ongoing political and cultural dynamics between the USA and Mexico. We make audiences feel both welcome and foreign, striking a balance that mirrors the complex interplay of familiarity and alienation experienced at the border. The theater becomes more than a stage for performance; it's a space where the vivid realities of Tijuana's nightlife are both observed and lived.


Fabrication



Drafting



Conceptual renderings



Research and reference imagery


The scenic design for "Salón México" creates a vivid portals, transporting audiences to the  streets of Tijuana, particularly Avenida Revolución and La Sexta. These areas, both celebrated and notorious for their nightlife, inspire a set bathed in neon blue and red lights, which cast an otherworldly glow that blurs the boundaries between stage and street, reality and fiction.


At the heart of "Salón México" is an acknowledgment of Tijuana's dance halls as pivotal social and cultural exchange hubs. These vibrant spaces mirror the city itself, marked by contrasts, struggles, and a rich cultural refuge drawn from its history as a borderland. The project is deeply rooted in the city's transition from a refuge for escapists to a focal point of fear and paranoia, eventually blossoming into a cultural renaissance.

The performance delves into Tijuana's history as a borderland—a crucible for migrants, dreamers, and those seeking reinvention amidst adversity. It reflects the city's transformation from a refuge into a hub of cultural resurgence, navigating through shifting times of fear, paranoia, and eventual revival. Vividly capturing the eclectic mix of individuals that define Tijuana's nightlife, each person seeks solace and expression within the dance halls. As the night unfolds, the audience is drawn into an evolving ambiance, witnessing an intricate dance of identity, power, and survival as people carve out spaces for individual and collective expression on the dance floor.

"Salón México" is a homage to Tijuana, a city that, despite facing formidable challenges, has morphed fear and uncertainty into realms of celebration, innovation, and community solidarity. Through Dulce Escobedo’s compelling choreography and storytelling, the performance is a vivid testament to the resilience of Tijuana and its inhabitants, celebrating the transformative power of dance, music, and communal bonds in transcending barriers and fostering shared narratives of hope and endurance.

Director
Dulce Escobedo

Scenic Designer
Pablo de Larrañaga Aramoni

Lighting Designer
Jack Cannon

Dramaturgy
Luna Izpisua

Costume Designer
Emily Unthank

Sound Designer
Marc Perez

Choreography
Dulce Escobedo in collaboration with performers

Guest Artist
Marianna Escobedo

Dancers
Sage Sanchez, Achintya Bose, Angelia Connors, AJ Storey, Gabriela Guedes

Actors
Tristan Samson, Elie Korio, Linda Varela, Amanda Zenaida

Music
Los Cadetes De Linares, Pepe Mogt, Nortec Collective, Gustavo Santaolalla, Julio Preciado Y Su Banda Perla del Pacífico, La Sonora Dinamita, Lucho Argain, La India Meliyará, Braulio Lam, Grupo Yndio, Erik Truffaz, Murcof

Film crew
Dulce Escobedo, Angel Estrada, Braulio Lam, Marianna Escobedo, Sage Sanchez, Brenda Echeverria, Misael Andalon, Frida Contreras, Armando Guzmán, Luis Gutiérrez, Rolando Escobedo Munoz

Stage Manager
Bryn Bohanna

Assistant Stage Manager
Savanna Gonzalee

Film Documentation
Angel Estrada

Producers
Dulce Escobedo, Pablo de Larrañaga Aramoni

Special Thanks
Dimitri Chamblas, Rosanna Gamson, Tuixén Benet, Matt Lemp, Tom Leesser, Faculty from The School of Dance and Integrated Media, Ellen McCartney, Camille Benda, Victor Sandoval, Rosa Elena Muñoz and Rolando Escobedo Ortiz

This project was sponsored by the Nick England Intercultural Arts Project.