'Juntos pero no revueltos': aproximación a las disciplinas festivas en el cine musical folclórico español

Moreno Diaz, Maria del Carmen, Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Anderson, Andrew, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

This dissertation deals with the representation of festivals and private parties (both types of fiesta) in Spanish folkloric musicals. In analyzing this representation, I argue that an official ideal of pleasant coexistence and equality is in tension with deep-seated class anxieties. I study the subaltern discourse that emerges from this struggle with a focus on different strategies of imposing discipline on the lower classes, containing their expression and, finally, curtailing the people´s means of subverting these controlling or disciplining mechanisms. For instance, the first chapter explores dancing academies as a vehicle of imposing physical discipline on the folclórica—the central character who is a singer and dancer. Through failure and embarrassment, the female protagonist learns to discipline her body, choreographing her movements in order to be successful in her career by satisfying the male gaze. In the second chapter, I explore the discipline applied to the heroic archetype and which works as a means of determining the folclórica´s destiny: singing her shame about being a public woman, traveling where the performance is held, and suffering the consequences of lacking a shelter or safe space. Whereas many of these qualities are extremely appealing to the dominant, upper-class audience, a deeper analysis of the figure of the folclórica demonstrates how these films frame her as a popular commodity, hovering on the edge between prostitution and spectacle, erotization and fascination. The third chapter argues that the way in which folkloric musicals showcase festivities and party gatherings invariably as natural and homogeneous is an illusion, one that reveals not only the official anxiety plaguing post-Civil War Spain, but also the homogeneous identity imposed from above by the Francoist regime. The final chapter offers a brief overview of the reinterpretation of the folkloric musical film genre during the twenty-first century, with a focus on recent movies that use popular culture as an instrument to disrupt order and to demand social justice. This is the case, for instance, in Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves (2012); a film whose main character is a female bullfighter-flamenco-dancer. Her queer identity not only challenges the rigid gender assumptions and expectations promoted by these folkloric musical films, but it also reinterprets the marginalization and subaltern discourses present in this longstanding tradition.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
cine de posguerra, musical folclórico español , fiestas y festividades
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