SAETA – The Mourning

Lead Author:

Rosemary Cisneros




Unit of Assessment

33: Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

Output Category:

Q - Digital or visual media

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SAETA - The mourning

Single screen film (5:49min)

Summary Statement (300 words)

The Roma, a marginalized community within Spain, has long been revered for their performance artistry, yet at the same time severely ostracized within social settings. This contradiction creates a tension which is revealed through flamenco song and dance.

Two crucial elements of the mourning period for the Roma are the singing of Saeta and the wearing of the black veil. The Saeta is a form of traditional religious song with the distinguishing feature that it is never accompanied by dance nor music instruments.

Saeta is an ethnographical exploration of the self, identity construction and traditions and uses dance to explore the tension that arises when these ideas are explored via movement. The work asks how a screendance performance that involves traditional flamenco music and dancing reflects the intersubjective pressure. The film uses Flamenco traditional music and religious objects and gestures to convey the mental anxiety and ways that hostility manifests itself in the body. The dance film reflects the intersection of dance and social activism as it pertains to my personal exploration of developing a modern Flamenco piece. The choreography aims to make the invisible marginalised narratives of traditional embodied practices visible using objects, camera techniques and contemporary dance vocabulary.

Research Aims:


Contextual Information

Related documents and publications:
Header Image Credit:

© Koko Zin (2016)