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Museo del Dance de Visiedo

The origin of the Dance of Visiedo cannot be determined exactly, as the oldest surviving texts date from the 19th century, although there are indications that the dance was first performed in the 17th century.

The story goes that the inhabitants of Visiedo created what is now a well-established tradition, the Dance, to ask the patron saints of the municipality not to stone the fields again after fourteen years of crop failures due to these weather incidents.

The dance has undergone many modifications and has now lost its religious character and is now considered a folkloric element that vindicates the cultural identity of this municipality in the Altiplano.

The dance begins with the celebration of mass and the procession in honour of the saints San Abdón and San Senén. All the characters that appear in the dance, except for the devil, go to the church. During the procession through the streets of the village, the dancers dance some dances to the rhythm of the dulzaina and drums, at which point the devil may appear around any corner, scaring the children and trying to spoil the fiesta. During the procession, gozos and coplas are sung to San Abdón and San Senén, the same ones that are sung during the novena that is celebrated in May.

In the village square, the pastorada or dialogue between the mayoral and the rabadán begins and the problems between the shepherd and the master become apparent. This conversation is interrupted by the devil, at which point the struggle between good, the angel, and evil, the devil, takes place. As in almost all the stories, good (angel) wins in the end.

After this busy moment in the story, the “dichos” (sayings) recited by the dancers and the rabadán (rabadán) begin. First the dancers recite verses dedicated to the saints and then others dedicated to the rabadán, almost always in a jocular tone. The rabadán, for his part, replies to the dancer by commenting on some funny incident that has happened to him or his family. The castanets are played every time the mayoral mentions the saints.

After the intervention of the dancers and the rabadán, the mayoral is in charge of saying passages from the lives of the saints and then the dance of the dancers begins. The dance in which the dancers, with their swords, encircle the devil’s neck to simulate his death, stands out. In the past, the dancers used to dress the stick, a dance that is now completely lost, perhaps because of the complexity involved in wrapping coloured ribbons around the stick. To bring the performance to a close, the flag bearer appears to show his skill with the flag.

Dance Museum

El Horno Street,

Visiedo

Telephone to arrange visits: 978 77 90 01

Web Site

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