There is lots of dancing to be experienced in Barcelona and one in particular you really should try to at least watch, if not try yourself, is the Sardana, the national dance of Catalunya and an important part of Catalan culture as it’s seen as a representation of their identity and pride.
The Catalans were viewed as a threat by the dictator Franco who ruled the country from the end of the 40’s to ’75, he hated them for their strong independence and refusal to submit to his rule, as a result he banned many of their local customs and traditions including the Catalan language and the Sardana in an attempt to beak their spirit. This is partly why the dance is so popular these days, loyal and proud the Catalans are keen to keep their traditions alive and teach the younger generations about who they are, as well as providing a sense of unity.
You’ll be able to see this traditional style of dancing everywhere in the region and at various places around the city itself, check out the Plaça de la Catedral on a Saturday night or Sunday morning where the dances are held frequently, or Plaza Jaume I and other squares during the summer evenings. Anyone can join in whatever their age, sex or attire, as the dancers form a circle and join hands they raise them in the air and dance with very small, defined steps. Circling slowly round and round other dancers join the circle, when it gets too big more are started and the end result can often be 4 or 5 circles of dancing people which is a lovely sight to behold and a great symbol of togetherness.
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