Requirements for `Carmen` Compositions


Video jacket summary of the film:

Antonio Gades, Spain's foremost flamenco dancer, portrays the director/choreographer of a dance company in present-day Spain. To complete his dance production of `Carmen`, set to Bizet`s operatic score, he must find a leading lady. Antonio's obsessive search for a fiery and passionate Carmen takes him to flamenco dance schools, where he eventually discovers his Carmen in an untried young dancer . . . . named Carmen!

As the rigors of rehearsal become more and more intense, Carmen and Antonio find themselves living the `Carmen` story of love and treachery.


I am not looking for excessive plot summary or a scene-by-scene description of the movie (I`ve seen it several dozen times), nor am I looking for a translation of the information I just gave you above. I am primarily interested in YOUR PERSONAL OPINION / OBSERVATIONS concerning the film. The guideline questions that follow are just that: GUIDELINES. Since some students may experience difficulty at this level producing 3/4 to 1 whole page, typed in Spanish, I felt it might be easier to toss in some guideline questions to help you better organize your essay.


Some useful vocab:

El/ la personaje (central/principal)= (main) character

El trama= plot

el ensayo= rehearsal

el/la dueño/a= boss, owner

el bailador= dancer (male)

la bailarina= dancer (female)

la cárcel= prison

el clímax / la culminación= climax

el desenlace= resolution

el conflicto= conflict

el/la guitarrista= guitarist

el camerino= dressing room

ensayar (para)= to rehearse (for)

una prueba= audition

hacer una prueba para. . .= to audition for. . .

tener lugar= to take place

hacer un/el papel= to play a/the role

desempeñar un/el papel= to play a/the role

tener celos= to be jealous

estar celoso/a= to be jealous

mentiroso/a= liar

salvaje= wild

según= according to

en cuanto a= concerning, referring to

consejo= advice (from `aconsejar- to advise`)

matar a= to kill (someone)

enamorarse (de)= to fall in love (with someone)

ser encarcelado/a= to be jailed, incarcerated



The film takes place in the city of Madrid, Spain.

The film came out in 1983.

It was directed by Carlos Saura.

Antonio Gades plays the role of Antonio. Gades is a famous flamenco dancer.

Cristina Hoyos plays the role of Cristina. She is also a famous dancer.

Paco de Lucía plays the role of Paco. He is an extremely famous flamenco guitarist.

Laura del Sol plays the role of Carmen. She is more of an actress than a dancer (as you may or may not have noticed).

**Beware of the dualism: Laura del Sol stars in Saura's film `Carmen`, and plays the character (the dancer whose name is) Carmen, who in turn lands the leading role of `Carmen` in the flamenco production of the opera, `Carmen`.

The music in the film is primarily flamenco, interspersed with selections from Bizet's opera `Carmen`.


Los personajes centrales:

Antonio- dueño de la compañía de baile, busca la mujer perfecta para hacer el papel de `Carmen`, en su producción `Carmen`. Es un hombre obsesivo y celoso. Es muy trabajador.

Cristina-la mejor bailarina en la compañía de Antonio. Es una mujer vieja y por eso, ella no puede hacer el papel de `Carmen` en la producción. Ella parece estar celosa de la bailarina Carmen (por su juventud).

Carmen-bailarina, mujer irresponsible, mentirosa; tiene una belleza `salvaje`; le parece perfecta a Antonio para hacer el papel de `Carmen` en la producción. Baila bastante bien, pero tiene que practicar mucho, (según Cristina).

Paco-guitarrista, mejor amigo de Antonio. Le da consejo a Antonio en cuanto a la Carmen.

José Fernández Montoya-el esposo de Carmen. Fue encarcelado por vender drogas.

Sebastián-el bailador en la última escena de la película. Hace el papel del matador (bullfighter) Escamillo que se enamora de/siente atracción sexual por Carmen (la personaje, no la mujer actual).



¿Cuáles son los conflictos en la película? ¿Entre quiénes son?

¿Cuál es el tema central de la película, en tu opinión?

¿Tienes una escena favorita, o unas escenas favoritas que te gustaron más que otras? ¿Cuáles son?

¿Te gustó la película? (be honest!!) ¿Por qué? ¿La recomendarías a otra persona?

¿Qué piensas del fin? ¿Fue la muerte de Carmen una muerte actual o solamente una parte de la producción?




This composition should be typed, double-spaced, and with a font size no larger than 12. This composition should run a MINIMUM of 3/4 of a page. Should you wish to write a little more, try to limit yourself to one full page, or at MOST 1.5 pages.

This composition is due on MONDAY, JULY 31ST IN CLASS. I will not accept compositions submitted to my mailbox or stuffed under my office door. If you leave it in my box, it will sit there until it turns to dust. If you slide it under my office door, I will step on it, pick it up, laugh, and then recycle it. This assignment is worth 100 points and will be applied to your Compositions/ Oral Presentations area ofyour final grade, so I recommend doing a decent job on it.

See me if you have any questions or if the assignment (still) remains unclear.

Rough drafts can be submitted to me ahead of time for editing and joint correction, if you wish to do so.