Tortillas y Lagrimas (Tortillas and Tears)

Date of Award


Document Type

MSU-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


College of the Arts


Theatre and Dance

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Elizabeth McPherson

Committee Member

Lori Katterhenry

Committee Member

Claire Porter


With my MFA in Dance Thesis Tortillas y Lagrimas (Tortillas and Tears), I share my experience as a Mexican American Latina woman in the United States, tracking back through my family heritage. As elements of my research, I studied Mexican immigration experiences (particularly my grandmother’s), Aztec Dance, digital media for dance, and improvisational practice in the post modern and contemporary dance field. I took classes, conducted oral interviews, attended conferences, and created Dance Labs for experiential exploration. These influences are synthesized in my MFA thesis performance, a dance concert presenting twelve choreographic dance works with traditional Mexican folk music and mariachi music as well as digital media components. Tortillas y Lagrimas (Tortillas and Tears) premiered on April 6, 2018 at Talento Bilingüe de Houston, and featured my public high school dance students, two professional dancers, and myself. I began my research with a personal investigation and left with a deeper connection to my Mexican and Mexican American culture and heritage, which I plan to continue to explore as a dance artist.


The performance video is restricted to the Montclair State University community but the PDF file of the thesis, which is located at the bottom of the screen, is available to anyone interested in reading it.

File Format


This resource is available only to the Montclair State University community. Please log in with your NetID.