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Morante

 

Posts: 1893
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

Semana Santa 

La intensa Semana Santa de Sevilla termina hoy con la tradicional corrida del Día de la Resurreción.

Lo curioso es que parece que la mayoría de los sevillanos prefieren su Semana Santa a la famosa Feria de abril.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2016 17:23:33
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

Good luck with that one Morante...


Semana Santa reminds me of something else......can't quite put my finger on it.... Lol



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2016 18:31:59
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Leñador

quote:

ORIGINAL: Leñador

Good luck with that one Morante...


Semana Santa reminds me of something else......can't quite put my finger on it.... Lol




Donald Trump rally??? Oh no, that looks more like Spain.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 3:42:00
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

It looks like a parade in a Harry Potter movie.

BTW the Nuestro Flamenco podcast there is a show last Thursday all about Saeta.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 4:46:29
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

Cool. Any superstitions about singing the Saeta out of context? Or is it just distasteful? I hear them played in canal sur radio all the time....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 5:09:52
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

I used to really like Semana Santa in the villages , and all the roads would be covered in wax for ages afterwards ,, which makes all the car tyres squeal as if they were in an American cops / movie chase ..

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 10:57:06
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1893
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Leñador

quote:

Any superstitions about singing the Saeta out of context?


In theory, they should be sung, usually from a balcony, directly to a Cristo or a Virgen. This can be very emotive. However, when there was money for subventions, the three Peñas Flamencas used to organise a concurso de saetas.

The strange thing is that statistics show that fewer and fewer go to church nowadays while more and more take part in the processions, even though it costs them money.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 12:29:37
 
Pimientito

Posts: 2481
Joined: Jul. 30 2007
From: Marbella

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

quote:

Lo curioso es que parece que la mayoría de los sevillanos prefieren su Semana Santa a la famosa Feria de abril.


No solomente en Seville...las fiestas de Semana santa son mucho mas grandes que las de Navidad!!
Llevo tanto años como un extranjero en España, y la semana santa siempre me parece la semana mas curiosa del año.

If you think the processions are strange then you are going to love what I saw on Good Friday.
In the small town of Rio Gordo in Malaga they re-enact the crucifixion and hang villagers on Crosses in the afternoon.
Its not often you get to see a public crucifixion these days say I took these photos!





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 12:41:42
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1893
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Pimientito

Andalucía has a really strange culture, encompassing extreme religion, toros and cante. You even get a chance to suffer serious injury!

http://www.diariodecadiz.es/article/provincia/2249855/la/fiesta/los/toros/da/la/bienvenida/los/dias/largos.html

That is what makes it difficult for foreigners to accept what is going on.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 13:15:20
 
Piwin

Posts: 3376
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

I like the smaller village version better than what I experienced in larger cities. Though trying to get home in Seville during Semana Santa was fun. It felt like a lifesize game of pacman

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 14:01:07
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3298
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Pimientito

quote:

If you think the processions are strange then you are going to love what I saw on Good Friday. In the small town of Rio Gordo in Malaga they re-enact the crucifixion and hang villagers on Crosses in the afternoon. Its not often you get to see a public crucifixion these days say I took these photos!


When I was posted to the American Embassy in Manila, the Philippines long ago, every year in the town of San Fernando, about 50 miles north of Manila, someone was actually nailed to a cross, depicting the crucifixion. The tradition continues every year.

Bill

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 16:20:12
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to BarkellWH

“So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship… This craving for community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, The Gutenberg Project EBook 2009, p. 319)

quote:

When I was posted to the American Embassy in Manila, the Philippines long ago, every year in the town of San Fernando, about 50 miles north of Manila, someone was actually nailed to a cross, depicting the crucifixion. The tradition continues every year.

Bill


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 20:30:33
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

quote:



In theory, they should be sung, usually from a balcony, directly to a Cristo or a Virgen. This can be very emotive. However, when there was money for subventions, the three Peñas Flamencas used to organise a concurso de saetas.

The strange thing is that statistics show that fewer and fewer go to church nowadays while more and more take part in the processions, even though it costs them money.

Why do you suppose? People feel guilty about not going weekly so they make sure to go to the procession?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2016 20:33:08
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3203
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Leñador

quote:

ORIGINAL: Leñador
Why do you suppose? People feel guilty about not going weekly so they make sure to go to the procession?


On the rare occasions I attend a religious ceremony out of a sense of social obligation, emotional engagement far exceeds the intellectual. I attribute it to the religious environment of my childhood.

My musical engagement with Semana Santa in Sevilla began--unknown to me--with learning the florid variations by the great Mexican trumpet virtuoso Rafael Mendez on the theme of "La Virgen de la Macarena."

As a youngster I had heard the pasodoble played by bullring bands in Reynosa, Monterrey, and the Plaza Mexico. It was not until I was actually in Sevilla, years later, during Semana Santa that I understood the connection of the music to the event.

As perhaps most people here know, the Spanish Gypsies especially revere La Virgen de la Macarena, some say due to her darker complexion than the other Virgins in the processions. The slow pasodoble is played by the sizable band, in their elegant uniforms, who accompany La Macarena's float in the procession. The closely packed members of the cofradía who carry the heavy float on their shoulders keep step to the music.

When the band takes a break, the men keep step to the beat of drums. After one procession passes, there is an interval. People chat. Those with seats may stand and stretch. Then the drums can be heard, at first faintly, then louder. People begin to quiet down and look up the street. As La Macarena approaches, the band strikes up. The sound of the theme in the trombones and tubas precedes the sight of the float. The music evokes a chorus of olés. Then La Macarena turns the corner of the crooked street, and comes into full view in her regal robes, illuminated by the dozens of tall candles on her float, the only light in the darkened street. The crowd roars, then falls silent.

Of course the other music associated with La Macarena are the saetas. One of the most dramatic events of Semana Santa is when La Macarena halts in the Calle de Sierpes, near the Cathedral, and from a balcony the saeta is sung to her.

Preceding the saeta is another piece that belongs to La Macarena. She is accompanied not only by the band, with its impressively professional sound, but also by a corps of drums and bugles. Hearing them first on records, I was struck by the aggressively sour intonation of the bugles in their initial fanfare, then by the chaotic rhythmic disorganization of the melismas that follow. Next the horns are silent, and the drums echo against the buildings that line the street. Seeing the procession, I learned that the men of the cofradía mark time. The float sways from side to side as they step in place, without moving forward. The candle flames sway in unison.

When I saw the drums and bugles in person, I learned that they were dressed as Roman soldiers, bare legged in heavy sandals, tunics to mid-thigh, Roman helmets with horse hair plumes, the officers in metal breastplates like centurions. I thought, "Maybe this is reminiscent of the sound of the Roman army as they advanced with drums and trombas, calculated to strike fear into the hearts of the barbarians."

The drums fall silent, the cofradía stands stock still, and the saeta pierces the night.

One sight that sticks with me from a few years ago was two robustly built young women, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, heavily pierced and tattooed, with punk haircuts. Hardly the look you would expect from devoted regular church goers. They stood on the sidewalk, their arms outstretched to La Macarena, tears of emotion flowing freely down their cheeks.

When I first visited Spain more than 50 years ago, I said to some of my American friends that it was the last Christian country. Perhaps what we see nowadays is an echo of that time.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2016 22:08:30
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

Great story, really paints the picture.
Perhaps Christianity is more of a social identity thing than it is an "I believe in God" kind of thing.....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 29 2016 23:08:20
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to BarkellWH

I often felt that these ritualized gatherings of people, singing, chanting, whatever, are a form of hypnosis.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2016 16:06:29
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1893
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Leñador

quote:

Perhaps Christianity is more of a social identity thing than it is an "I believe in God" kind of thing.....

I am sure you are right. The Peña Flamenca de Juan Villar is in the barrio de la Viña and it is more of a social meeting place for people from la Viña than other cosa. According to the constitucion, only men can be members (which is illegal, of course). When there is flamenco in the Peña, all the wives sit at the table reserved for members, while the members bring them food and drink from the bar: a sort of inverso machismo.

The women even have a club called "Mujeres de Acero" where they offer classesof all types for the people of the Barrio. In Carnaval. everybody goes out disfrazado, in Semana Sante everybody is a penitente. At Christmas, the mujeres form a villancicos group. Once, since I am the only guitarist in the Peña, I was coopted to playfor them, which was a real calvario

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2016 16:35:39
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Ricardo

you mean like ..going to church ....??
.....or a rock concert where everyone knows the words
....or a football match ?
etc etc ...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 30 2016 17:51:52
 
Piwin

Posts: 3376
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to El Kiko

quote:

....or a football match ?


Boooh!!
You'd think as a foreigner in Spain, the thing I'd have the most trouble with would be bull fighting or something of the like. Nope, turns out it's my utter dislike of anything soccer-related (oddly I played soccer in France up until I was 18 but after that...). Now, if they'd change the rules so that each team had to dress-up in the Semana Santa garb and carry a statue around while playing, I'd definitely watch that.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2016 8:28:03
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to El Kiko

quote:

ORIGINAL: El Kiko

you mean like ..going to church ....??
.....or a rock concert where everyone knows the words
....or a football match ?
etc etc ...


Especially those. Maybe more obvious a drum circle or "juerga", where the collective attempt to evoke the "Duende" or whatever magic moments.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2016 16:46:22
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3203
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
Especially those. Maybe more obvious a drum circle or "juerga", where the collective attempt to evoke the "Duende" or whatever magic moments.


Back in the '60s there was none of this "attempt" BS. You just passed around a joint and put on a Jimi Hendrix record.

Instant religious experience.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2016 19:09:31
 
Estevan

Posts: 1891
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Back in the '60s there was none of this "attempt" BS. You just passed around a joint and put on a Jimi Hendrix record.

Instant religious experience.

Ole! Eso es.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2016 21:07:04
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Back in the '60s there was none of this "attempt" BS. You just passed around a joint and put on a Jimi Hendrix record.

Instant religious experience.


In the 70s it was dropping a tab of acid and listening to Floyd's Echoes. Not speaking from personal experience, of course

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2016 21:14:25
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Escribano

Frank Zappa was often put on in those circumstances in my good old flat...before it got raided ..........
erm ...so im told ...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2016 21:26:13
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1672
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Ricardo

quote:


I often felt that these ritualized gatherings of people, singing, chanting, whatever, are a form of hypnosis.


It seems that with the big speeches from Hitler in Neurenberg Germany, the drums and boots made a rithm at the time of the heartbeat.
After a while everybody had the same heartbeat......everybody's heart symposise to the same beat.
Like the pendulum clocks of Huygens.........scary

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2016 22:56:45
 
Estevan

Posts: 1891
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Semana Santa (in reply to Morante

quote:

Andalucía has a really strange culture, encompassing extreme religion, toros and cante. You even get a chance to suffer serious injury!
That is what makes it difficult for foreigners to accept what is going on.

Yes, and difficult for us to understand the place of flamenco if we came to it via hot licks on the guitar!

If anyone's interested in a book that might provide some clues, "White Wall of Spain: The Mysteries of Andalusian Culture" by Allen Josephs is a fascinating attempt to make sense of the elements of the culture that make it so distinctive. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the broader context of flamenco, especially if you've wondered why flamencos are so enthusiastic about the bulls, religious festivals, etc. It's a personal interpretation with a certain amount of historical speculation but it can be helpful.

Here's an excerpt from the preface:

"No traveler can spend much time in Andalucía without encountering certain things that seem almost inexplicable in the Western world. The frenzy of tuna fishing off the coast of Cádiz, the music and dance known as flamenco, religious celebrations such as Holy Week in Sevilla or the pilgrimage called the Rocío, and, of course, toreo, which we erroneously call "bullfighting" -- these are unique phenomena which are native to southern Spain and have virtually no counterpart in our culture.

These rites are the mysteries of Andalucía because they are radically unfamiliar to most Westerners and because they stem in no small part from the ancient mysteries of the East. Unraveling their development is equivalent to undertaking a quest to the center of the human psyche, both psychologically and historically, in an attempt to understand a culture that has baffled and fascinated observers since the days of the Romans.

To enter the Andalusian labyrinth, to explore these mysteries,to trace them from their origins in antiquity to the present, is to rediscover a primordial way of life. That rediscovery is my primary purpose. I also hope this book will foster an understanding of the brilliance and originality of Andalusian culture and help to protect that culture -- on paper and in fact -- from the colorless homogeneity of the future."

[More excerpts here]
(Note that Donn Pohren's help is acknowledged.)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2016 2:45:49
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