Dancing the mating dance.
On the first Sunday in April the parishioners of the small village of Sant Francesc de S’Estany celebrate de day of their patron Saint Francisco.
That is around the corner from where we live, so of course we wanted to celebrate this with them. Gertjan and I could talk Johan and PJ into it, only because there is a pub across from the church, where they could hang out while we were photographing the festivities. It started with a mass at noon in the small church overlooking the salt flats with flamingos. This church was built for the people working the salt basins, so that they did not had to travel far.
The church was not big enough to hold all the attendants, so people where standing outside too. That gave Gertjan and me the opportunity to photograph the details of the folkloric dresses and the beautiful (hand) jewellery the ladies were wearing.
After the mass the parishioners walked with their saints to the village border (500 meter) and back to the church.
And then the ball pages (country dance), a typical island dance started. To me it looked like a bird’s courtship dance. The man picks one or two women and invites them by clicking his castanets. It sounds like the bill-clattering of a stork during mating season. The woman picks up her skirts and they start slowly moving around each other. Then the man jumps up and kicks his leg up high, like a bird trying to impress his mate, while drums and flutes are playing.
At the end of the dance the man goes on one knee as if he is proposing.