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Bastoner, the dance of sticks

The bastoner is a very popular dance in Catalonia that everyone can see it during a traditional festival in Barcelona.

Each dancer has 1 o 2 sticks in each hand and the goal is to clap them between each dancer meanwhile they dance at the rhythm of the popular music. In fact, we can find also this traditional dance in Europe totally different from the one done in Catalonia or with a slight change.

No one knows its origin but in Catalonia, an official document has been found dating from 1151 referencing the first time this dance performed during the wedding of

Ramon Berenguer IV the Holy and Petronilla of Aragon. Originally, it was only performed by men and only from 1960 that women were introduced. Actually, in Barcelona, the dance is done in couple, meaning a man and a woman but in some villages, it is still forbidden for women.

If you are asking me about its symbol, well, it is said that it is the interpretation of 2 groups fighting, doing different movements and alternating the fight with the intertwining of groups which are distinguished by the colors of his clothes.

Talking about the clothes, there are no special rules. Generally, it is a white pants and shirt with a colored belt and scarf. And about the music, again, there are no a special melody and instruments.

In fact, it is done with the sound of the sticks, clapping each other and hitting on the ground. Generally, it will be accompanied with the melody of a flute performed by one musician minimum. Of course, in some performances, we can find people playing violin, accordion… for instance. The band will play a popular melody or nowadays, to bring more fun, a pop music.

The basic choreography of bastoner is formed by 8 dancers and they can dance in circle or in rectangle for example. During a local festival, they can jump, dance on bended knee... but every time, they have to hit the stick with the other dancers or on the ground.