Catalonia, Valencia, and the Costa Blanca Feature
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Catalonia's National Dance
The sardana, Catalonia's national dance, is often perceived as a solemn and dainty affair usually danced by senior citizens in front of the Barcelona Cathedral at midday on weekends. Look for an athletic young colla (troupe), though, and you'll see the grace and fluidity the sardana can create. The mathematical precision of the dance, consisting of 76 steps in sets of four, each dancer needing to know exactly where he or she is at all times, demands intense concentration. Said to be a representation of the passing of time, a choreography of the orbits and revolutions of the moon and stars, the circular sardana is recorded in Greek chronicles dating back 2,000 years. Performed in circles of all sizes and by dancers of all ages, the sardana is accompanied by the cobla (sardana combo), five wind instruments, five brass, and a director who plays a three-holed flute called the flabiol and a small drum, the tabal, which he wears attached to his flute arm (normally the right).
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