2021 Fieldwork: Scenic Mudejar

Scenic Mudejar.
Exploring stage culture in medieval times: music, dance and minstrelsy

This study has focused on defining strategies in the territory that promote Mudejar identity and reinforce its professional networks through research, creation and artistic dissemination in the field of musical and performing arts. It has also designed actions that will enable the programming of future stage arts events in the region. The project is based on a concept of heritage that encompasses traditions, customs and other artistic expressions that are part of the collective memory.

The project is based on the idea that the performing arts – arts of time and space, of memory and celebration – have the potential to link the past with the present, to develop the contemporary imaginary of a territory and, at the same time, to nurture myths, figures and motifs of local tradition.
Their contribution to local, economic and sustainable development has been studied in the following aspects:

  • Economic profit, derived from greater territorial appeal (the entire cultural sector) and the innovative impulse (the creative industries);
  • Reinforcement of social cohesion, through expressive forms in line with the cultural diversity of the population;
  • Education and awareness-raising of the population on social and environmental issues (e.g., sustainability and nature preservation), through the performing arts in all their creative forms;
  • Control and reduction of their ecological footprint.
The study has been based on fieldwork and on the examination of a vast amount of archival and bibliographical material on Mudéjar scenic arts in order to outline four operational objectives:

  1. To examine, in the local history of three villages of Territorio Mudéjar, the events that could give rise to a commemorative project of a scenic nature;
  2. To highlight, in the tangible local heritage of these three villages, the material elements that could serve as the setting for a musical, theatrical, choreographic or hybrid programme with reference to Andalusi and Mudejar culture;
  3. To examine, in the intangible local heritage of these three villages, the material elements that can be related to the prevalence of Andalusi culture, with a view to proposing their recovery or revitalisation;
  4. To detect, in the local political, educational and cultural network, the dynamics and difficulties that need to be taken into account in order to propose performing arts projects in relation to the “Mudejar identity” of these three villages.
From the analysis carried out, a series of conclusions have been drawn on the aspects in which the Andalusi culture is manifested in Mudejar scenic art, taking as a reference the data obtained from Islamic and Andalusi sources and those obtained afterwards in the context of the Mudejar and Morisco minority.

The research proposes that Mudejar scenic art should be recognised as a category within the history of the performing arts and that there should be no difference between the scenic activity carried out by Mudejars and Moriscos.

The fieldwork stay concludes with the presentation of a detailed bibliography and iconography of the performing arts linked to Territorio Mudéjar, as well as the proposal of some solutions that propose a tangential and mixed repertoire, a symbiosis between the medieval and the contemporary as a way of highlighting this lost but not irrecoverable tradition and to commit to new techniques to develop new projects related to Mudejar scenic art. The aim is to enrich management possibilities for the use of Territorio Mudéjar’s heritage spaces.
LINE OF RESEARCH: Social function

THE AUTHORS: María Amor Borque and Serge Dambrine