Mallorca has a series of folk dances that are very simple and captivate all kinds of public. In the past, when people had finished the harvest of grapes, the harvest of olives or the reaping of wheat, farm workers used to celebrate the moment eating, drinking and dancing ancient folk dances. This is how folklore was born.
The Mallorcan folklore has archaic roots with influences of the first settlers of the island, which has also influenced the rhythm of the melodies and the steps, but also the colourful costumes.
In Mallorca, people live their own culture and folklore as a treasure that is worth defending and enjoying and, thanks to this attitude, institutions support this spirit, which keeps folk music alive. Music identifies us as a community.
The island’s folklore is characterised by its elegant and ceremonious dances, as well as by its melodious songs, among which it is important to highlight:
El Parado: This is the queen dance and the boleros’ oldest version. It is a gentle dance, in which the dancers move their arms in a beautiful and majestic way.
Fandango Dance: Its lively music reminds that of the jota.
Jota: It is a very widespread dance across Spain, also in Mallorca. It is very popular and has a unique style.
Ball de l’oferta: It is a dance with simple and easy movements that follows the rhythm of the shawms in the course of the offertory of the High Mass.
So de pastera: It is one of the most typical dances of Mallorca.
Bolero des vermar (literally “Grape harvest bolero”): It is a dance that represents the gathering of the youth that works in the fields.
Copeo: It is a fluid dance with lively movements that give it a singular style.
The main music instruments played are the guitar, the flute, the shawms and the castanets.
Folk dances were very common during the Mallorcan home celebrations, particularly after a working day, that is, after the hard work of harvesting on holidays and Sundays, mainly at night.
The dance costumes are the greatest expression of the costumes that were worn on Sunday and holidays in the villages across Mallorca. They are very special.
Women wear a lace headdress on their head and shoulders. They also wear a black low-cut and short-sleeved silken bodice, which is adorned with buttons made of precious metals. And to finish off, they also wear openwork tights, satin shoes, a golden necklace and a silver chain around their waist.
Men wear an undone multicolour silken waistcoat with the shape of a heart. They also wear a buttoned up white shirt adorned with a colourful wide belt and long baggy trousers, similar to those worn by the Turks. Men also wear white linen tights and leather shoes. To finish off, they also wear a wide brim hat or a silken or percale kerchief as a turban.
In Mallorca, the International Folk Dance Festival is held every year. It brings different and sometimes remote cultures together through music and dance. It is an exciting show full of colour and enthusiasm, offering an amazing variety of many different cultures from all over the world. This festival was founded by the late Bartomeu Ensenyat and has been usually held in springtime since 1987 with HRH Infanta Elena acting as honorary president.
Link of the Illes Balears’ website/ Folklore
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