UCR Department of Dance

New Research in Critical Dance Studies Colloquium Series


Pensamiento “muxeril” y antropología aplicada en “Lemniskata”

(In Spanish with English Translation)

Lukas Avendaño 


Mon. Oct. 23, 3:00 - 5:50 PM, PDT

ONLINE / Register to Attend


Performance artist, choreographer, and anthropologist Lukas Avendaño is a member of Mexico’s National System of Artistic Creators / National Fund for Culture and Arts (SNCA / FONCA). Avendaño (who alternates between masculine and feminine pronouns) critically applies anthropological approaches and methodologies to create performances and installations for the human body. Sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and race are the topics of her reflection and insubordination, especially as these intersect with Avendaño’s “muxe” identity. The experience of being muxe, according to Avendaño, is a “total social fact” carried out by people born with “male” reproductive apparati, but who opt for social, cultural, and sexual-affective roles that depart from traditional masculinity. Although it would be easy to make equivalences between gay and muxe, or transgender and muxe, muxerismos are singular identities and cultural practices particular to Mexico.



Pensamiento “muxeril” y antropología aplicada en “Lemniskata”


“Tengo la boca llena de tierra (…) mi boca se hunde perforada por los dientes que la taladran y la devoran…”


“My mouth is full of earth (…) my mouth sinks pierced by the teeth that perforate and devour it.”


Pedro Páramo, by Juan Rulfo


“Lemniskata” is a performance that engages “mujerismos” through morphological, gestural, and symbolic signs: “mujerismos” in states of becoming via continuity, unfolding, and duality. Mujerismos that become coatl (serpent; Nahuatl), that become duality–cuates from coatl–woman-man, that become coatl / coa (the stake to plant seeds in a circle); akin to the ouroboros (the snake that bites its own tail; Greek), and who, when unfolded, becomes lemniscate (symbol of infinity; Latin).


Mujerismos” comes from Cuatlicue: the non-feminine “terrible Mother,” the mother who is monstrous, but who holds, on the crown of her head, the infinity symbol [ ], a concept which is represented in Nahua thought by the number 400, associated with the Cenzontle (bird of the four hundred voices; Nahuatl; Mockingbird), the Cuatlicues and their four hundred children, Centzon Huitznáhuac. Cuatlicue becomes serpent woman, “the woman with a forked tongue, that is, a snake tongue,” the one who emerges from her own womb in childbirth, the one that unfolds, the duality that sees itself giving birth to herself, synthesized as the snake that sheds its skin and which is reborn through her own mouth: the toothed mouth of the snake, the dentate vagina of the matlacihuatl


Cihuacoatl / coatl-huilatzin, hulatzintli: female serpent that impregnates herself with the coa / coatl / cuates / ouroboros / analema. The serpent who witnesses their own birth … LEMNISCATA.


Part of:




Coordinated by María Regina Firmino-Castillo

Assistant Professor of Critical Dance Studies


Cosponsors: CHASS Dean's Office and the Center for Ideas and Society; Center for Ideas and Society Performing Difference Faculty Commons; Holstein Family and Community Chair in the Study of Religion.



For accessibility and accommodations to fully participate in this event, contact us as soon as possible: mariafc@ucr.edu




Event Details

  • Jose Antonio Rivera Montoya
  • Larissa Rosales
  • Nicole Quiroz

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