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Barcelona city guide

Traditions in Barcelona: Sardana, Castellers, Catalan identity, Bilingualism

First tradition in Barcelona amoung many : The Sardana

 

 

The Sardana is Catalonia's national dance. Its name comes from Catalan occupation of Sardinia

The Sardana

At many festivals, you are likely to see circles of people dancing the sardana, Catalunya's national dance, and one which resembles no other Spanish dance. Its origins are thought to lie in the graceful dances of ancient Greece. One theory is that the Greeks introduced the dance during the period in which they maintained trading posts on Catalunya's northern shores thousands of years ago. Others insist that the sardana was not practiced here until the fifteenth-century Catalan occupation of Sardinia, hence the name. In any case, the sardana in its present form emerged during the Renaixença (the 19C. Catalan renaissance) and it has becomea symbol of national identity. 

 

Sardana dancers link hands with raised arms, forming circles which grow bigger and bigger as more people join in. Traditionally, couples can join in at any point, but cannot cut in between a man and his partner on the right. When the circle gets too big, the dancers form more circles. People of all ages and ranks in life join hands and dance as if to emphasize that whatever their differences, they are first and foremost Catalans. The spirit of unity generated by the sardana is truly impressive. An extremely disciplined dance, the sardana calls for exact movements and expert timing, provided by a leader in each circle. For this reason, unless you think you've really got the knack, it's generally inadvisable for visitors to join in - one wrong move can put the entire circle out of step.

 

 

 Others traditions in Catalonia:

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2 comments

  1. Sardanes - Ian Giorgio (6 Oct 2015 - 09:40)

    Beautiful to watch how the dancers daintily dance and hop slightly to the sardana music.The music itself would be lovely, if they cut out the strident higher tones.
    Symbolic of Catalan respect and harmony.

  2. Matización - María Grau (12 Jun 2011 - 11:30)

    Quería explicar que la sardana se baila uniendo las manos e integrando a quien quiera añadirse en señal de amistad, de acogimiento y de apertura. Es una danza espiritual y al saltar armoniosamente al rtmo de la música que se eleva se experimenta emocion, libertad y alegría interior.

    Visca la sardana, visca Catalunya i visca tothom que la respecti, sigui d'on sigui.
    (Viva la sardana, viva Cataluña y viva todo aquel que la respete, sea de donde sea).

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