Dance of the Stilts

July 21-23. Anguiano (La Rioja).
The stilt dancers perform twice a year: firstly for the Magdalena, in July, and secondly for the Saturday of Grace -the last Saturday in September.

In July the image of the saint Magdalena is paraded through the streets of the town from the hermitage, accompanied by the dancers. She then spends the summer in the town and in autumn (Saturday of Grace) she is returned to the hermitage, and there she remains for ten months awaiting the return of the dancers.

The latter, risen up on wooden stilts, perform one of the most singular dances of all those that are still in practice in Spain. Here, beauty is coupled with risk; dexterity, with bravery; elegance, with strength; singularity, with the faith in Magdalena. These human tops. spin round and round, their petticoats billowing in the wind and their gaze fixed so as not to lose their balance, while they hurtle down the narrow street that bears their name from the Church to the main square. Meanwhile, astounded onlookers try to overcome their amazement.

Return to Festivals Page