Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Bordegassos de Vilanova: The Only Way is Up!

Esparreguera May 2010 Concentració a la plaça Pagesia

We in the castellers team Bordegassos de Vilanova have two unfortunate weekends behind us. The Sunday before last, on May 2, we were supposed to perform in the small village Cabra del Camp (Tarragona), together with Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls. Unfortunately, the organizers had forgotten to organize for an ambulance to be present and discovered that so late that it could not be arranged. Although serious accidents are rare, it would be foolish to build human towers without medical expertise on site, especially so since that would void our insurances for that specific event. Having said that, it takes a lot of people to build human towers – I would estimate that we were some 200 people between the two teams this day - and especially for our team who was a one-hour drive away from home, it created quite some irritation to see the performance cancelled.

Last Sunday, May 9, on the other hand, we only had ourselves to blame for our problems. We simply did not manage to motivate enough of our members to come with us to the town Esparreguera (comarca Baix Llobregat (Barcelona), but at the same time a part of the Penedès wine region) and as a consequence I had to live through my worst day as a bordegàs since I joined the team, in September 2009. A torre de 6 and a pilar de 5 (explanations further down) were our bleak achievements, but what we above all will remember were three attempts (intent desmuntat) to build a 3de7 which were dismantled prematurely since the children in the top found them too unsteady to crown.

While our mood got worse and worse, the other two teams had a really good day. Our hosts, the Castellers d'Esparreguera, successfully assembled and dismantled 4de7 and 5de6, but what really deserves to be mentioned was their 3de7: one of the children in the top almost lost the grip during the dismantling process and that, in turn, made the whole tower wobble. The Castellers d’Esparreguera did not give up but fought to hold the construction together. Truly impressive!

Castellers d'Esparreguera May 2010 "5de6"

The third team, Castellers de Poble Sec from Barcelona, was – at least if you judge by their reactions - even more satisfied with their results: 3de7, 5de6 and 4de6 amb l'agulla.

Castellers de Poble Sec, Esparreguera May 2010 "4de6 amb l'agulla" 1

Castellers de Poble Sec, Esparreguera May 2010 "4de6 amb l'agulla" 2

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If everything goes as planned, this week I will be able to take part in two practice sessions (assaig) and that is good. Bordegassos de Vilanova need to get back on track as a team and our next performance is high profile. On May 16, at 12:30, we will be in the plaça de la Vila - la plaça més castellera - in Vilafranca del Penedès during their May trade fair (Fires de Maig) and build castells together with Castellers de Vilafrancathe best team of Catalonia - and the Xicots de Vilafranca - also they very strong. Come and support us there!

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A brief introduction to the names of Catalonia's human towers:

  • A pilar is a single column or pillar of people, standing on each other's shoulders. A pilar de 5 has five levels.
  • A torre consists of two people per level, except for the top two ones. A torre de 6 has six levels, the top two ones included.
  • Bigger castells have names such as 4de7 (4 by 7, in my translation), where 4 indicates that it consist of four people per level (the top three ones - pom de dalt - excluded) and 7 that it has seven levels (the top three ones included).
  • The dificulty of a human tower can be increased if it is dismantled via a pilar, then called agulla (hence: 4de6 amb l'agulla).
  • Another way to increase the difficulty level is to erect the tower bottom up (aixecat per sota) which means that the upper levels are not climbing, but raised up into position by the base (pinya).
  • In rankings, it is to crown or assemble a human tower (carregar or, alternatively,coronar), which gives the main part of the score, but for full points it also has to bedismantled in a controlled way (descarregar).


季洪雅 said...
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妍慧 said...
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