If you're in Barcelona on a Sunday, try to see the people dancing the Sardana, the Catalan national dance. Try near the Cathedral.
When I saw people doing the Sardana it was in the afternoon in the park across from La Sagrada Familia.
The Sardana is Catalonia's national dance and is more complicated than it probably appears. It succes depends on the dancers forming a circle and accurately counting the complicated short- and long-step skips and jumps, which accounts for their serious faces. Music is provided by a cobla ( an 11-person band consisting of a leader playing a three-holde flute (flabiol) and a little drum (tambori), five woodwind players and five brass players. The Sardana is performed during most 'festes' and at special day-long gatherings called 'aplecs'. In Barcelona it is danced every Sunday evening at 18:30u in the Placa de Sant Jaume.
We had quite a nice experience with this dance being in Tarragona. We were sitting in the sun having a nice cool beer in the Old Town. All of a sudden we saw a lot of people gathering together and suddenly heared music and the clapping of hands. I had a look and saw that some local people just spontaniously started to dance The Sardana. Just great!
On my most recent visit I was in town to see locals dancing the Sardana outside the cathedral on Sunday afternoon, a custom which has been performed for years. A band on the steps of the cathedral struck up the notes and groups of friends and relatives joined hands and began to dance.
The sardana involves a circle of people, holding hands and performing intricate steps which on first glance may look easy but rest assured it is complex and must take lots of practice to perfect!
Several groups danced and it was quite a spectacle.
While I'm pretty sure it occurs at least every Sunday, groups of people dancing the "Sardana," the traditional dance of Catalunya, may also occur on other days of the week. I think Sunday is the biggest day though, where many people come out to watch. It's really interesting to see, and a good way to really get the Catalan vibe, if you're actually interested in learning about local culture. The dancing in my pciture is being performed outside of the Catedral in the Barri Gotic (gothic quarter).
This is La Sardana,a typical catalan dance.When I was walking by the Barri Gotic,just at Town Hall square many people were dancing a few sardanas there.As you can see in the picture,is a quiet dance and everybody make a circle with the hands.
There is a tradition in Barcelona of putting an egg on the water jet of some fountains on the Corpus Christi day. The most popular is in the Fountain of Saint George in the cathedral cloister. This is called "L'ou com balla" ot the egg that dances.
Tradtion goes that if the egg does not break, the following months will bring fortune.
People dancing la Sardana, Catalonia's typical dance. It is danced by large circles of people holding hands up together and is one of the symbols of the Catalan attitude of standing together in face of difficulties.
Sardana dancers, both initiated and debutants meet every sunday for practising in the Cathedral Square.
If you're in front of the cathedral (Catedral de la Seu) in Plaça de Sant Jaume on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning like I was, you'll see a gathering of locals doing a dance called La Sardana which has become of symbol of Catalan identity.
Here at the public square in the city center, people pass through the square, meet and chat, while street performers and pigeons happily entertain. The tall palm trees and fountains just add the right Spanish flavour to the scene.
The Cathedral itself was builded in 1298.
Magnificent is the wooden "Altar" - dating
15th century. Around this Cathedral you will see a lot of historical buildings and on Sunday's - local people - young and old - are showing their private Catalonian Dance
- The Sardana
When you visit Barcelona and are a early riser you will find yourself alone on the streets. The musea open only at 10:00, so no use to go anywhere. Unless you like to be alone on a busy street like the Passeig the Gracia. At this street you will find the houses by Gaudi: casa batllo and casa mila (la pedrera).
If, as a casual tourist to Barcelona, you happen to find yourself in front of the Cathedral on a Sunday afternoon, you will see ten musicians in dark suits arranging themselves and some unfamiliar wind instruments in ten chairs set out in two rows on a platform. As they take up their instruments, the people do not stand in front of them to look on, but begin to group themselves in circles, taking hands to make a ring and begin to dance a ritualistic dance. The circle keeps shifting slightly back and forth, but makes no decisive or dramatic movement, and the dance seems to go on for a very long time.
If you stay, and if you consult a member of the crowd or a particular enlightened guidebook, you will find that is a dance called the sardana, and a symbol of Catalan identity.
The sardana celebrates the group: its ring is a symbol of brotherhood, of mutual interdependence, of democracy. Participation is very important in the sardana, anyone who decides entry must be admitted, regardless of dancing ability or lack of acquaintance with the group.
As we approach the end of the century, the sardana is struggling to maintain its relevance within a modern Catalan society. Nevertheless, a revival movement is on the way to make people appreciate its values in a time of questionable attitudes and confusion among a section of the youth. Several organisations are working to save the sardana from the indifference expressed by a sector of Catalan society and find its place in contemporary Catalonia. One of the most active groups in this movement is the Fundació Universal de la Sardana. In conjunction with this TV3 (Catalan television), last May, started a very well presented and ambitious weekly programme based on the world of the sardana in Catalonia and abroad.
Last but not least, this is the Sardana, the Catalan National Dance. It is danced by men an women in a circle while sounding Catalan melodies. You can see people dancing La Sardana on Sunday mornings in major Catalan towns. In Barcelona it usually take place in front of the Cathedral. In the picture you can see the Sardana Monument in Montjuïc.
on this day (11.2.) on San Jaume square people are dancing this typical catalan dance...and the city hall is opened for the visitors...and concerts are held
If you see this dance in Catalonia...this is called 'sardana'. Probably you can try dance it! Really is funny! Easy to see this cultural dance Sundays at 12:00 in front of the Cathedral.