Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Human Tower Season is Over and That is Good!

Photo by Yôko Ono

Yesterday evening, we, the Bordegassos de Vilanova celebrated our team day (diada de la colla) and thereby also the end of the 2009 season. Three weeks ago I was sad that there was so little left of it, but today I am happy that it is over.

It is not easy to develop the art of human towers, where you need for a big group of people to voluntarily turn up not only for performances, but also for practise. If I say that the Bordegassos are not particularly successful in this, I will probably irritate some, but I feel that I am not alone in thinking so. Most articles in this years edition of l’Aleta – our team magazine – send a similar message. “We sometimes come across as an anorectic team which sees itself as fat when it looks in the mirror”, is a telling expression used by our president Marc Ortíz de Urbina.

We clearly have some soul searching to do and I want to be part of that process. Let us see how many times I manage to repeat “embrace change” before I am accused of cultural insensitivity. Now, I honestly think that some oddities I observe in our internal communication have their origin rather in historic team routines and not in the Catalan psyche.

Resultwise, this was our best season for the last three years. We have assembled and dismantled a great number of “5de7” and “4de7 amb l’agulla” and recuperated the torre de 7 - but not as many as the Nens del Vendrell. However, we have not been able to erect a 7-level castell from below (3de7 aixecat per sota), as the Moixiganguers d’Igualada have), nor build human towers of eight levels, something which the Colla Jove de Sitges (descarregat), the Xics de Granollers (descarregat) and the Al·lots del Llevant (carregat) have achieved this year.

Yesterday’s performance here in our Plaça de la Vila served as yet another reminder that we need to improve. A relatively hard fall last weekend had left us without some of the young members who usually take positions at the top, and that was all it took for us to need much too much time to build a “5de7” (descarregat) and then have a first attempt on a “4de7 amb l’agulla” which collapsed and a second one which was not completed (intent desmuntat). It was therefore our guests, the Xics de Granollers, which came out as the stronger team, by building and dismantling a “5de7”, a “4de7 amb l’agulla” and a “3de7” (tots descarregats), all very stable and on the first attempt. I am convinced that this quite young team can serve as an example for us. Let us see how many other team members think that I am right.

Vilanova deserves to have a good casteller team. How do we again make people feel proud to form part of the Bordegassos? It is good that the season is over because we need time to think.

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Technorati tags: Castellers, Catalonia, Human Towers, Igualada, Penedès, Sitges, Spain, el Vendrell, Vilanova

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