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The Placa de Catalunya is a very popular tourist attraction because of the amazing and unique architecture.  This is a large town square and is considered as the center of Barcelona.

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Barcelona / Traditional folk dancing in Barcelona

Most tourists arriving in Barcelona for the first time presume that the national dance they will see performed is the flamenco or perhaps the tango. But in fact as Barcelona is in Catalonia the traditional dances are not flamenco and tango but Sardanes and Bastoners. Of course there are also shows of flamenco dancing and other traditional Spanish dances.

Traditional Catalan folk dancing is called Sardanes it is danced in a circle to symbolize unity and it displays their national and regional pride and cultural identity. Catalonians who have always seen themselves as independent to some extent take great pride in the Sardanes as it represents part of their unique culture. Under Franco (who ruled for 30 years) Sardanes was one of the Catalan traditions which were banned as the dictator saw the Catalans as a threat. The Sardanes dance troops are called colles. Groups of people hold hands, raise their hands slightly and take delicate small steps as the circle turns. The dance is often accompanied by traditional cobla musical group playing tambourines, brass and wind instruments and led by a flaviol flute.

 Another traditional Catalan folk dance is the Bastoners, it is one of the oldest folk dances in the region and the dance groups are called "colles de Bastoners." The dance is performed while dancers hold poles and bang them on the ground and on the other dancer's poles in time to the music. The dance troops can have between 8 and 24 (or sometimes even more) dancers. The dance involves jumps and dance moves while simultaneously hitting the poles rhythmically.

Where to see traditional Catalan dancing in Barcelona

At the Focs de Sant Joan Festival held in June and at other festivals throughout the year you can find both spontaneous groups dancing the Sardanes and formal performances. In the summer visit the Plaza Jaume I on Sunday evenings at about 6pm or in front of the La Seu Cathedral on Saturday evenings to see the traditional dances being performed. The dancers are accompanied by a live band.

Where to see flamenco dancing in Barcelona

There is a Flamenco Show (Tablao de Carmen) at Poble Espanyol on Montjuic. You can choose between a show and a four course dinner (€77, €39 for kids), show and tapas (€49) or a drink and show only option (€39 and €19.5 for 4 to 12 year olds). The dancing is performed by a troop of about ten dancers in full traditional costume. There are two nightly shows at 7pm and 9:30pm and you should arrive early to enjoy your meal. The closest metro station is Espanya and you need to enter Poble Espanyol and head for Arcos de la Frontera. Another place to see flamenco dancing in Barcelona is at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes at 35 Ramblas. It is one of the most renowned flamenco restaurants in the world and they host well known dancers and performers. Here there is an option to just watch the show or enjoy a meal as well. Prices range from $55 to $110 and performances are throughout the evening at 6:45pm, 8:15pm, 10pm and 11:30 pm.

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