Definition and distinction of the Moixiganga
The first step to deepen in this subject is to concretise that it is a moixiganga and especially differentiate them of the mojigangas and the muixeranga.
We have to understand with the term mojiganga a popular party, in which the participants disfressen of extravagant way or, even ridiculous. Also intercalen dances or extravagant representations. It is necessary to add that these celebrations did not take place exclusively to the Principat but that also extenen all over of Castella and are known with the same term.
This same meaning can extend to the terms moixeranga and muixeranga. This mot was considered by Maximilià of Thous, curator of the Museum of Ethnology and Folklore of Valencia, how the bad translation done that the village used when referred to these public dances before called. In reality they would have to call it moixiganga all referring to the common festive term to all the State.
Of this ore of dances seem to form part the Moixiganga of Lleida, the Muixeranga of Algemesí, the Muixeranga of Carcaixent, the known Dance of Valencian and other that seem to be very own of the Carnival. But how already I have aimed before, no as only concentrate to our land but that to many indrets of the Peninsula find of alike. To the Basque country receive the name of “mascaradas”, to the folklore of Burgos also knows a dance with these characteristic. In Santander find the “Danza of los Arcos” of figures very alike to the ones of the Moixiganga of Lleida and the Dance of Cercolets. Also to the Valencian Country locates a dance of this ore that knows as a dance of the Torrent that composava of several integrated dances for dancers that represented different jobs and social classes. This dance was used to to finalise with a pyramid or castle of men that also has been renown moixiganga for some authors.
Especially to the 18th and 19th centuries, the term was very used to denominate the mascarades and popular dances.
This dance was more typically danced to the zone of Valencia in popular parties. It consisted to build a gram compound human pyramid of men that bore ones to the other for the shoulders. It accustomed to represent at night and for this reason the dancers sustained, they all, torxes lit thing that did of this human building a particularly showy show.
This dance dates of the year 1747 . This date, to my parer, can result reliable but inaccurate. Considering the similarity that the muixeranga presents with the buildings castelleres, can determine that the date of sorgiment has to be, by force, next. In the second place, the religious dances how the moixigangues or mojigangas have represented the origin of many other representations folklòriques precisely to be vinculats to the religious cult. This prové for the big influence that the Church has had during long on the society and, in special, during the mediaeval period. Like this, then, it was simple to develop the creation of religious representations, in the first place because the religion and the cult was one of the paramount duties of the man and, in the second place because this ore of popular representations would not be forbidden by the Church or the State. These reasons do me think that the moixigangues have to be previous to the sorgiment of the castles as we know them now and also, by analogy, to the of the muixeranga. But the muixeranga still preserves alike shots to the moixigangues (in fact is not nothing more than a variant) which thing approximates him to the representations of brink merely religious. With this what want to show is that if has a more alike character to the of a moixiganga is because it has to be previous to the birth of the castles. If we consider that the castles appeared any the 18th century and consider as a date of start (more symbolic that no official step) the January of the year 1789 in which raises to Alcover a pillar; well it rotted to be that the date (also symbolic) of the origin of the muixeranga was the year that quotes to the “World Casteller”.
In the actuality the muixeranga preserves to the vila of Algemesí (Valencia) but seems that in the past had been danced by all the ribera of the river Xúquer.
The clothing has been always streaky vertically although the colour has gone variant. First the bands were red or blue on white bottom but at present combine both colours doing half dress with a colour and half with the other. The dress features of a blouse and some straight trousers accompanied of hat of ears and espadrilles. The figures that the muixeranga represents are used to to be religious scenes but with a very narrow similarity with the castles pròpiament fingers. Although the figures that represent , have mostly religious character, also there is that do not present any religious reason.
This is, at present, the mot that denominates the dance that by means of gymnastic exercises represent steps of the “Passion” of Jesucrist. They belong to this gender the moixigangues of Valleys, Vilafranca, Igualada, Sitges and, also, those that would be of Torredembarra, Reus and Tarragona, as well as is the case of the moixiganga of Vilanova and the Geltrú that it is what occupies us. Some of these populations never possessed group of own dance or at least does not have constància certain of his existence.
It is not simple, but, treat with total independence the moixiganga pròpiament of the mojiganga and the muixeranga since in spite of being different representations find very related and there are elements that interrelate them because of his similarity.