The Chorus in Early Twentieth-Century Spanish Theatre
The presence of the chorus in contemporary Spanish theatre is a still largely unexplored subject. Its recurrent use by Spanish playwrights from the 1920s and 1930s, and almost uninterruptedly on to the 1970s, has been probably perceived as so widespread, functional and naturally tied to the text as to be taken for granted and not worth a specific critical investigation; suffice it to say that even the works of famous authors, such as Federico García Lorca, have not been thoroughly examined in this respect. The writing style adopted by the leading authors of the early twentieth-century Spanish theatrical new wave is deeply engrained in the classic and baroque traditions: I refer in particular to Ramón del Valle-Inclan, Miguel de Unamuno, Ramón Gomez de la Serna, José Bergamín, Federico García Lorca, Rafael Alberti, just to mention some main exponents of that happy cultural season known as Etad de Plata. Their work offers interesting examples of chorus; indeed, the aim of this article is to point out an essential line of investigation of the presence of the chorus in early twentieth-century Spanish drama by restraining the analysis to a few meaningful texts by Bergamín, Lorca and Alberti, and by especially exploring its performative potentialities.
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