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Ball Pagès: Traditional Ibizan Folk Dance

Ibiza also has its age old traditions which may today be experienced through folk dances performed by costumed dancers

Ball Pagès: Traditional Ibizan Folk Dance
Ball Pagès: Traditional Ibizan Folk Dance
Ball Pagès: Traditional Ibizan Folk Dance
Ball Pagès: Traditional Ibizan Folk Dance

Some long time ago agricultural Ibiza was home to hard-working farmers who used to take a break and entertain themselves with the occasional spontaneous folk dancing. Yes, Ibiza has not always been the European capital of clubbing and the residence of David Guetta. In fact, it used to have its own folk traditions which have since nearly died out, yet luckily have been miraculously saved by some nationally conscious local residents. There are a few dance troupes who amuse holidaymakers through folk dancing in traditional costumes at the so-called Ball Pagés. They perform every Thursday from May to October at 6 p.m. in the village of San Miguel in the North of Ibiza from May to October and also on Fridays in Dalt Vila (Ibiza Old Town) during from July to August.

Practical info

When and where can I attend a Ball Pagès performance?

During May to October, Ball Pagès performances are held every Thursday in San Miguel in the North of Ibiza, and also on Fridays from July to August in Dalt Vila, Ibiza Old Town. These displays of costumes and cultural dances are organized by local dance troupes, dedicated to preserving the tradition of the Ibizan folk dance. Ball Pagès almost faded away because of modernization, and the changes in leisure activities, and the upsurge of partying culture, but thanks to these unique troupes the tradition lives on. Show more

What caused the decline of Ball Pagès, and how was it revitalized?

The influx of partying culture, modernization, and changes in leisure activities almost wiped out the tradition of Ball Pagès. The folk tradition was a spontaneous leisure activity enjoyed by farmers in their leisure time, but as modernization brought alternatives, it lost patronage almost to the brink of extinction. It was through the efforts of some preservation-conscious local residents that the practice of Ball Pagès was kept alive. These residents inspired local dance troupes to organically perform Ball Pagès and preserve their heritage while entertaining visitors with their cultural displays. Show more

What are the features of Ball Pagès performances?

Ball Pagès performances feature costumes that are symbolic of the dancers' gender, style, and the activity they represent. Pagès outfits, consisting of dark shirts and trousers and espadrilles, are worn by male dancers, while female dancers wear brightly coloured vestits with full skirts and laced-up tops. Acrobatic movement and lifts are choreographed to the percussive tunes of traditional instruments such as the castanets, drums, and flutes. Ball Pagès dances are a fusion of different styles, with dancers moving in unison to create a rhythmic extravaganza. Show more

Where else can I see Ball Pagès performances apart from Dalt Vila and San Miguel?

Ball Pagès performances are not exclusive to San Miguel in the North of Ibiza or Dalt Vila, Ibiza Old Town, as they can also be held in other villages or towns on the island. Traditional settings like village courtyards, small churches, or town squares can be venues for organizing these performances. Visitors to Ibiza can request information from local dance troupes about performance schedules and other venues. Moreover, various cultural sites and experiences tours include a stop-over for the Ball Pagès tradition that visitors could utilize to explore the cultural heritage of Ibiza. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin