SOME of the most exotic and colourful dances in the world can be seen in Palma this week, thanks to the World Folkdance Festival which opened yesterday afternoon and will continue until Saturday.
The opening ceremony took place in the Plaza Mayor after a parade by the 1'500 people from 27 countries who are taking part in the Festival, which is held every two years.
Tourists and residents lined the streets to watch the parade, which went along Calle Olmos and Calle San Miguel, ending in the Plaza Mayor, where the groups performed.
There are 46 groups in all, including 12 from the Balearics and four from Britain (Northern Lights and English Miscellany from England, Ballochleam Highland Dancers from Scotland and Dawnswyr Nantgarw from Wales).
The groups will be taking it in turn to dance in the main squares, between 10.30am and 1.30pm and 5 to 8pm every day, as well as at the Pueblo Español from 10.30am to 1pm and 5 to 6pm, and the Auditorium from 3.30 to 5.30pm.
On Friday at 10pm, Jean Paul Samputu and the Ingeli Troupe will put on a special show at the Auditorium in aid of Aspanob (Association of Parents of Children with Cancer) and the final will be held at Son Moix at 7pm.
This year, the general public can vote for their favourite group by consulting www.worldfolkdance.com.
English Miscellany describe themselves as a display group. They decide on a new repertoire in the autumn and hope to be proficient in it by spring, ready for showing their art at events ranging from fetes to international folk festivals, and from private dinners to fund-raising open days.
Founded in 1975, they perform a wide range of dance forms: late Victorian, Northern clog dances, Cotswold and North West Morris dances, etc.
They are based and practice in and around St Albans, Hertfordshire.