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On the occasion of the main festival of 2023, once again the tradition in Campdevànol (Ripollès) of the La Gala dance has been fulfilled, a dance that we can see staged in images in this report in La Vanguardia's Readers' Photos.
As the city council recalls, "The Campdevànol Gala is representative of ancient ceremonial dances. Its origin is found in the transfer of positions of the Roser terrors, a change that took place in September for the Roser festival."
Now, this dance has also been seen as a representation of the Ius primae noctis (right of stay) of the feudal lord with the girls of the town, a romantic interpretation inspired by the legendary Count Arnau.
The first written reference to the dance is found in 1888 in the newspaper El Ripollès, with this mention: "Due to the rain, the Dance could not be danced on Sunday, which was held on Monday, with few couples taking part in it. ".
Despite the lack of previous documentary references, it is believed that it is much older and could date back to the 17th century, a time when the Roser brotherhoods had a lot of weight.
Dance, during the 20th century, incorporated changes in costumes, in the choreographic and musical part, and in the dancers' renewal system, modifications that have not affected its basic structure.
The name La Gala would refer to the fact that it is the gala dance of the main festival, or to the fact that the capdanser honors all the dancers. In the past, it was also known as Ball de les Caputxes and Dansa del Roser, and it was done after the procession, in a field.
Unlike now, it had been an open dance; When the knight had danced with all the terroreses, the audience's turn began.
"No couple could join until the girl had first danced with the leader, he made her dance and then gave her to the boy who had asked for her, often without the dancer knowing to whom she would be given," as detailed in the presentation. of the dance The dance could last hours, depending on the number of couples participating.