Stick-Dance Morning


Start: Pl. Sant Jaume. Route: Ferran, La Rambla, Cardenal Casañas, Plaça del Pi, Plaça San José Oriol, Palla, Banys Nous, Baixada Santa Eulàlia, Sant Sever, Sant Felip Neri, Plaça Sant Felip Neri, Montjuïc del Bisbe, Bisbe and Plaça Sant Jaume

Stick-Dance Morning

The stick dance is an ancient and traditional dance, widespread across many European countries and deeply rooted in our own since the 12th century. It might be, perhaps, a remnant of a ritualistic countryside dance or a warrior dance where swords have been replaced with sticks. In Barcelona, where stick-dancing activity is vibrant, a dozen festival groups take part in the Stick-Dance Morning of La Mercè. It starts with a display in St. James Square and continues with a street parade to the sound of the flabiol (a type of flute), the gralles (traditional Catalan woodwind instruments), the accordion, the violin, and the beats of the sticks.

In some cases, the dances narrate through movement the struggle between two factions, distinguished by the colours of their short overskirts and handkerchiefs, and it can be considered the most widespread dance throughout Catalan territory. While originally performed only by men, from the 1960s onwards, women were integrated into the dance and have since participated on an equal footing. The route leading the festival groups through the Gothic Quarter concludes an event organised by the Balls de Bastons de Catalunya Coordination Committee, which promotes cultural, folk, and traditional stick-dancing events to spread Catalan popular culture.

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List of points shown on the map

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    • Pl Sant Jaume, 1
    • Ciutat Vella
    • el Barri Gòtic
    • 08002 Barcelona

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