Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!
communal dance intimately bound up with Catalan national consciousness. It is danced by men and women who join hands alternately in a closed circle. As they dance to the music of tenores and tabales (shawms and small drums), their faces remain solemn and dignified. The basic pattern of the sardana is a series of long (llarg) and short (curt) steps; the precise combination is determined by the leader, who signals the steps with a hand squeeze that is passed around the circle. The music is first slow, then rapid. The sardana developed in the 19th century from the contrapas, a similar dance with a broken circle