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Stages of Exile

Spanish Republican Exile Theatre and Performance


Edited By Helena Buffery

This book brings together twelve specially commissioned essays that showcase current research on Spanish Republican exile theatre and performance, including work by some of the foremost scholars in the field. Covering a range of periods, geographical locations and theatrical phenomena, the essays are united by the common question of what it means to ‘stage exile’, exploring the relationship between space, identity and performance in order to excavate the place of theatre in Spanish Republican exile production.
Each chapter takes a particular case study as a starting point in order to assess the place of a particular text, practitioner or performance within Hispanic theatre tradition and then goes on to examine the case study’s relationship with the specific sociocultural context in which it was located and/or produced. The authors investigate wider issues concerning the recovery and performability of these documentary traces, addressing their position within the contemporary debate over historical and cultural memory, their relationship to the contemporary stage, the insights they offer into the experience and performance of exile, and their contribution to contemporary configurations of identity and community in the Hispanic world. Through this commitment to interdisciplinary debate, the volume offers a new and invigorating reimagination of twentieth-century Hispanic theatre from the margins.


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SAMUEL LLANOExile, Resistance and Heteroglossia in Robert Gerhard’s Flamenco 107


SAMUEL LLANO Exile, Resistance and Heteroglossia in Robert Gerhard’s Flamenco This chapter aims to enhance current insights into ways of engaging with dance and music as part of the cultural production of Spanish Republican exiles. Specifically, it explores how these two media come together in the ballet Flamenco (1943),1 situating the work in the political and cultural context of the time, in particular its relationship to conditions in 1930s and 1940s Catalonia and Spain. Among the few Spanish Republican exile dance works which have merited studies so far (Carredano 2004; 2008; Bergamín 1988), Flamenco provides a compelling case, insofar as it tackles issues of identity fundamental to the dif ferent European nation-building processes since at least the nineteenth century. Moreover, it addresses identity in a manner that is relevant to the sociopolitical debates that took place in Cata- lonia and Spain during the Second Republic and early Franco regime (see Labanyi 2002). As I shall argue, there is a solid case to regard this work as an essay on resistance to fixed, hegemonic and coercive notions of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class, articulated around what Labajo (2003) consid- ers to be one of the key components in representations of Spanish identity, namely, the female gypsy dancer (see also Lacombe 2002). My research here builds upon previous work on the imbrication between music, dance and exile, in which music’s capacity to convey a sense of place and community and, therefore, to serve in the expression of identity of a...

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