Ball de Bastons Workshop

Sílvia Serra Associate Director of Arcadia in Barcelona


January 13, 2020

This week, as part of the Cornerstone courses, students participated in a guided visit to Casa dels Entremesos. This is a specific center of production and dissemination of the wealth of traditional Catalan folk culture that provides the public with festive imaginary (giants, dwarfs, bestiary), the world of fire (devils, jugglers, fire bestiary) without forgetting traditional Catalan dance and music.

This cultural center, located in Plaça de les Beates 2 in Barcelona, takes its name from the accommodation which in 1439 was established by Royal Decree for the maintenance and preservation of giant figures which took part in Barcelona festivals. Many centuries later, the New Casa dels Entremesos provides workshops and courses, conferences, concerts, theme exhibitions, a library and many other activities programmed throughout the year, with the aim of recuperating and bringing one of the most unique traditions of our country closer to the public. 

Students had the opportunity to get to know more information about Catalan Culture, see all the festive imaginary and participate in a workshop to learn how to dance the Ball de Bastons dancing (stick dance)

Ball de bastons has an unclear origin, but it can probably be traced back to battles fought with swords. The first written references about it dates back to 1150. It is a dance danced in groups of 8, 12, 16, 20 or 14 dancers (bastoners) each with a stick in each hand. You can see bastoners at all traditional Catalan festivals and in the festival parades (cercavilas)