La Sardana :: Danza típica Catalana – Typical Dance of Catalonia

The sardana (Catalan plural sardanes) is a type of circle dance typical of Catalonia.

There are two main types, the original sardana curta (short sardana) style and the more modern sardana llarga (long sardana), which is more popular. Other more unusual sardanas are the sardana de lluïment and the sardana revessa.

Nobody knows when the sardana originated, but it has been popular since the 16th century. Some believe the sardana is two thousand years old, but such theories have few adherents. Modern choreography was established as late as the end of the 19th century and features slight differences from the original North-Catalonian dance. Pep Ventura’s band is credited for stabilizing different variants around a clear 6/8 rhythm and fixing the instrumental ensemble. Though some Iberian and Mediterranean circle dances follow similar patterns, instrumental music for sardana has achieved a complexity of its own. As a non-performance dance, sardana does not require special fitness. Moreover, the circle can be opened to a highly variable number of dancers.

Music for the sardana (called sardana, as well) is played by a cobla, a wind band with double bass consisting of 12 instruments played by 11 musicians. Four of these instruments (tenora, tible, flabiol and tamborí) are typical Catalan instruments; the others (trumpet, trombone, fiscorn and double bass) are more conventional. In Spanish and French Catalonia about one hundred thirty coblas are active, most of which are amateur orchestras. Outside Catalonia there is only one cobla: Cobla La Principal d’Amsterdam.

A lot of sardanas have lyric versions, but mostly instrumental versions are used for dancing.

La Sardana es una danza en grupo y en círculo, que se baila generalmente en Cataluña,Andorra y la llamada Cataluña francesa (Rosellón). Los participantes se cogen de las manos por parejas, entendiendo como pareja un hombre que coge con la mano derecha a una mujer, que resulta por lo tanto en un patrón alterno de hombre-mujer-hombre-mujer. Por lo que se refiere a la longitud de una sardana, hay sardanas de 7 y de 10 “tirades”, que tienen unas estructuras definidas de pasos “curts” (cortos) y “llargs” (largos). Una variedad menos usual es la sardana revessa, una sardana donde es muy dificil encontrar el tiraje (número de compases que tiene la música) por lo que un miembro del grupo lo calcula a partir de peños motivos musicales y sus diferencias. Parte del éxito de la sardana como danza social radica en su carácter de danza abierta que admite un número altamente variable de parejas y que, al menos a nivel público, no requiere especiales condiciones físicas para su práctica, aunque no es así cuando se trata del “Bàsic d’Honor”, la competición de sardanas nacional de Cataluña.

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