Prosper Mérimée published his novella Carmen in 1845 and Georges Bizet drew from this in creating his 1875 opera Carmen. In their tales, Carmen, the Spanish Gypsy, an hypnotic, sensual, free spirited and independent woman, has been the source of suffering to the many men unable to resist her charms. In 1983 the stereotypical images of Carmen created by foreigners (with red flowers, mantillas and colourful skirts) inspired Carlos Saura to direct a modern film, in which he attempts to re-interpret the myth of Carmen.Saura incorporates Mérimée’s narrative, Bizet’s music and superb flamenco dancing in hope of creating a new identity for the Spanish Gypsy.
The intention of this introductory article on the Spanish Gypsy, Carmen is three-fold: 1) to examine the possible sources of Mérimée’s story; 2)to explore the origins of the Gypsies presence in Spain and their art of the flamenco dance; 3) to examine Saura’s methodology in attemting to create his version of Spanish Gypsy’s identity through flamenco dance in the post-Franco era.
|Keywords:||Flamenco, Spanish Gypsies, Saura, Carmen|
Senior Teaching Associate (Spanish), Department of Culture and Language Studies, University of New Brunswick Frederiction, Fredericton, NB, Canada
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