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67th Competition of Sardana Dance Groups

[ 23.09.17 ]

On Sunday, September 24, Feast of La Mercè, Avinguda de la Catedral will host another Competition of Sardana Dance Groups. This will be the 67th celebration of this annual competition, one of the leading events on the Barcelona sardana dance calendar.

The competition, held since 1950 and a classic at Barcelona’s Festa Major, rewards the most harmonious performance, the one most closely in time with the music. The great prize is a bronze statuette representing the Giant of the Ciutat, but victory in one year is not enough: a group has to come first on two consecutive years or three years altogether in order to take the trophy home with them. The prize for winning in a single year is a reproduction of the Eagle of Barcelona.

The competition, which begins at 11 am, is organised by the Federation of Sardana Groups of Barcelona, and this year the music will be provided by Cobla Reus Jove. The event ends at 1 pm with a sardana dance, also accompanied by Cobla Reus Jove.

Although this competition is perhaps the most attractive for sardana dance companies, it is not the only event of its type on the Festa Major de Barcelona programme. If you enjoy dancing in a ring or like cobla music, there is an inaugural sardana dance featuring the Cobla Sant Jordi – Ciutat de Barcelona ensemble starting at 7 pm on first day of the celebrations, Friday, September 22, in Avinguda de la Catedral.

Another sardana dance will be organised by Agrupació Cultural Folklòrica Barcelona at 6.15 pm on Sunday, September 24, in Plaça de la Mercè, featuring music by Cobla La Principal de Terrassa. And, a little later, at 9 pm, inside the Basilica of La Mercè, Cobla Sant Jordi – Ciutat de Barcelona will perform sardana music (without dance).

The final date with the sardana during these celebrations for La Mercè will take place at 6 pm on Monday, September 25, in Plaça de Sant Jaume. Once more, the organisers are Agrupació Cultural Folklòrica Barcelona, while the music is by Cobla Marinada.

In any case, if you want to see more sardana groups and hear cobla music, come to the Palauet Albéniz. There, on Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24, you can see Els esbarts i la sardana, a show whose artistic directors are Xavier Bagà and Jordi Vidal, while the musical director is Joan Gómez.

The show, which features some of the city’s best known sardana and traditional dance groups, will be presented by the actors Guillem Motos and Anna Briansó, who will give short descriptions of each performance. Before you leave, you may even be invited to dance to a sardana by Pep Ventura, the composer whose 200th anniversary we celebrate this year.