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Creolizing Carmen: Reading Subversive Afra-Hispanic Performances of Maria Antonia and Isabel "La Negra" in the Caribbean

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Sanko,Nadia Sophia (Author)
Publication Date:
California: University of California, Los Angeles
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, Blacks, Literature, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ferre, Rosario, Dance, performance, Gender, Giral, Sergio, Performing arts, Film studies, Hernandez Espinosa, Eugenio, Lopez Neris, Efrain, Santos-Febres, Mayra, Afro-Hispanics
221 p., Carmen (Mérimée 1845, Bizet 1875), the story about the (in)famous Gypsy dancer from Spain, is the second most adapted narrative in the history of world cinema, with over eighty global versions officially recognized to date. Despite the global reach of the Carmen phenomenon, many scholars claim that this tale has hardly been reworked in Spanish America and never in the Caribbean. Following Carmen from Spain to Spanish America, the author shows how the template of Carmen (a love story that reveals the racio-ethnic and gender stratification in Spain) has been artfully but unsuspectingly reappropriated and "creolized" in postcolonial Cuba in the controversial film María Antonia (1991) by Afro-Cuban filmmaker Sergio Giral, based on the landmark play María Antonia (1964) by Afro-Cuban playwright Eugenio Hernández Espinosa.