Sources of dance in Sardinia

In Sardinia dance is acknowledge as one of the most important and richest in meaning expressions of Sardinian tradition. It has always been of primary importance to the point that, in ancient times, it was not considered just a moment of games and entertainment, but it filled an important social function.
It was through the dance that the life of the community was beaten:

  • Births, weddings and Patron Saint were celebrated through dances
  • People danced at the end of the mass, after a good crop or a fruitful year.

The reasons to organize a dance were a lot.

The dance has a centuries-old origin, testified by important archaeological finds; among them we remember:

  1. the image in a little column in Tharros
  2. the bas-relief sculptured in the lintel of the Church of San Pietro in Zuri: a scene of the characteristic country dance is recognizable
  3. The earthenware panels, present in the Church of San Bachisio in Bolotona (16th century), where are represented two scenes of Sardinian dance.

In Sardinia, the country dances distinguished themselves in “ritual dances” and “courting dances”:

  • The ritual dance is characterized by the austerity of choral executions and by the prevalent choreographic figure of the circle.
  • The courtship dances, introduced in a relatively recent age, stand out for the executions in couples that free from the restrictions of the ritual choreographic figure.

At the moment, in many Sardinian communities is present the spontaneous participation, above all on the occasion of village festivals. During these, women and men press close each other in the characteristic “ballo tondo”, considered the traditional dance of Sardinia.
This tradition lasts thanks to the presence of folk groups, even if, because of show exigencies, it has been necessary to resort to choreographic innovations and an excessive musical presence.