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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Moresca

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BACKGROUND

Information: A dance.

Translation: Muslims who were converted to Christianity

Pronunciation: moh-REHS-kah

Other names: Morisca; Morisco; an undulating Arabic dance in parts of Spain; a mimed male battle dance in southern Europe; part of a mascarade, or theatrical show at court in which the sides were Christians and Arabs, or Amazons vs. Knights.

Fakelore: No connection to English Morris dancing. The English perhaps thought they were doing something similar to a moresco. A solo dance as described by Arbeau described a solo dance, Morisque, mistranslated by Mary Stewart Evans. Often confused with the Matassins. There is no known choreography of any type of Moresca, so the dance in Romeo and Juliet was a 20th-century creativity.

Region: Spain.


REFERENCES


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