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Thread: The Dance of the Forty-One

  1. #1
    Moderator Jellybean's Avatar
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    The Dance of the Forty-One

    . . . or El Baile de los 41 to give it its Spanish title.

    Netflix having noted one of my interests have recommended another gay themed movie, this one is rated 18, set in 1901 and filmed in Mexico City. It is based on a true story, which I was previously unaware of. It is about a gay Mexican congressman (the older gentleman in the photos below) who marries the Mexican president's daughter, but “cavorts” with a young man at a secret club. And then scandal hits. I found it interesting, at times sad, shocking and sometimes erotic. Although, I felt terribly sorry for the congressman’s wife despite the fact she was occasionally cold-hearted, though to be fair, she had cause. Strangely enough, in some respects, their marriage reminded me of the marriage of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. If the storyline interests you, then give the film a try.

    Dance 41-1.jpg

    Dance 41.jpg

    A synopsis provided by Wikipedia is copied below:

    The Dance of the Forty-One

    The Dance of the Forty-One or the Ball of the Forty-One (Spanish: El baile de los cuarenta y uno) was a society scandal in early 20th-century Mexico, during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz.[1][2][3][4] The incident revolved around an illegal police raid[5] carried out on 17 November 1901 against a private home on Calle de la Paz (since renamed Calle Ezequiel Montes) in Colonia Tabacalera of Mexico City, the site of a dance attended by a group of men, of whom 19[6] were dressed in women's clothing.

    The press was keen to report the incident, in spite of the government's efforts to hush it up, since the participants belonged to the upper echelons of society. The list of the detainees was never published.[1][4] Only 41 men were officially arrested, however there were rumors that Ignacio de la Torre y Mier, son-in-law of President Porfirio Díaz was also in attendance. Of the 41 men arrested for "offense to morals and good manners", most paid for their freedom and only 12 were eventually sent to work in the Yucatán . . .
    For full details see: Wikipedia

    Back in the 90’s I visited San Diego with two friends, one of whom was twenty years old, which we found out to our cost meant he couldn’t enter a bar or club until he was aged twenty-one. What a bummer we thought! My friend had been going to bars and clubs in the UK quite legally since he was eighteen. But all was not lost, we decided to travel over the US/ Mexican border to Tijuana most nights/ every night (I can’t remember now) where the three of us could imbibe and dance away to our hearts content without Lilly Law spoiling our fun. Maybe I was too busy carousing, but had I chatted with the local Mexican lads more I may well have learned about the significance of the number forty-one in Mexican culture. Had I done so, I would have quite possibly found out the number is regarded as a taboo and to be avoided. (See also the Wikipedia entry above on the significance of the numbers 41 and 42.)

    The following quote from the History Channel website is also particularly relevant to the topic:

    The number 13 is commonly considered unlucky, but in Mexico, the number 41 has been seen as taboo and avoided—at one point the Army left the number out of battalions, hotel and hospital rooms didn’t use it and some even skipped their 41st birthday altogether. The reason has to do with a party held in a secret location in Mexico on November 17, 1901.

    On that night 41—possibly 42—men gathered under the cover of night to dance together. Though some may not consider this scandalous by today’s standards, fallout from “The Dance of the 41,” as it was called by the press, was controversial enough to change the landscape of sexuality in Mexico . . .
    For the full article see: History Channel website

    The film’s official trailer is below and although it is in Spanish with English subtitles, the film can be viewed in dubbed English.



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  3. #2
    Forum's veteran francois's Avatar
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    Re: The Dance of the Forty-One

    I actually stumbled onto the Dance of the 41, just tonight on Netflix. I really didn't give it a chance and switched to something else after 5 minutes, as it seemed boring.

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