Danza del Venado | Artopia


A Closer Look

The Danza del Venado tells a story. At first the deer is alone, happily grazing in the forest. When our video clip begins, hunters appear and the deer fights for his life. Watch the video clip again. How does the dancer use his body to show what is happening to the deer? How does the dancer use the rattles he is holding? Try watching the deer's head as the dancer moves. Can you imagine that you are really seeing a deer onstage? Can you think of other animal dances?

About the Painting

The Danza del Venado, or Deer Dance, is a traditional dance of the Yaqui Indians from the states of Sonora and Sinaloa in northwest Mexico. This is a very old folk dance, in which a male dancer portrays a deer, wearing a headdress shaped like a deer's head with large antlers. The deer was a sacred animal to the Yaqui people, and this religious dance gives thanks for the deer, which provided food, skins to make clothing and shelter, and antlers for weapons and tools.

About the Artist

The Ballet Gran Folklorico de Mexico is a traveling company of 35 singers, dancers and musicians performing regularly in Europe, Asia and North and South America. The folk dances the company performs, though arranged for the stage, have a background in the heritage of Mexico including such tribes as the Mayas, Otomis and Aztecs as well as the Mestizos (people of mixed Indian and white descent).


  • Make a list of what you see and hear in the dance.
  • How does the dancer use the elements of dance? View Word Bank
  • What is your opinion of the dance? How does it make you feel?