Dancing in the middle of all summers

At eleven o’clock in the night of the feast of Saint Jacob the church of Algaida is illuminated as never before throughout the year. With the main door of the church wide open we can hear, in the midst of the soft murmur of the fans of the women, how the beating of the drums and the whistle of the flutes is coming nearer and nearer. It is now, in this precise moment, that we know we are in the middle of the summer. The true summer, the only and one summer of all ages.

The cossiers come dancing in the church, and the air is filled with the smell of the fresh basil they are shaking in their hands. I am convinced that all the men and women of the village now sitting in the banks are children in this precise moment. I am that, for sure, and I am watching their eyes for confirmation. And in the eyes there is everything, of course… I cross the look of Biel Majoral whom I remember dancing with the cossiers since his childhood when the feast had to be saved from the Francoist oppression, and who has just recently published his CD of Republican songs. His nephew María is in this year the “lady of the feast”, the Dama dels cossiers.

In this moment, while the dancers, one after the other, led by their Dama approach the altar, suddenly there appear, as if evoked by the whistling of the flutes, by the hot air, by the hypnotic rhythm and by the excessive light, all the summers that have brought us to this one revealing the core of all of them.

The little square in front of the church door is surrounded by people waiting for the end of the Mass and the beginning of the dance

And there is the demon, too, whose task is to make room for the dance

The cossiers only dance on two occasions in a year: on January 16, the feast of Sant Honorat, and on July 24-25, the feast of Saint Jacob, both on its vigil and on the main feast itself.

In all but one dances they dance facing the center of the circle.

Finally the demon falls on the earth, and the dancers all trample upon him, in the midst of the loud clamping of the bells on their hoses.

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