Castell (2 de 9 amb folre i manilles) in
A castell (Catalan pronunciation:
While in Catalonia, the Ball dels Valencians began to focus more on the acrobatic nature of building ever taller human towers, their more religious and allegorical predecessors retain their traditions: the Muixeranga, which is performed in the
In 2015 the Coordinadora de Colles Castelleres de Catalunya hosted 99 groups, including Castellers de Vilafranca and
A castell is considered a success when assembly and disassembly can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one open hand. The enxaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest to lowest order until all have reached safety.
Aside from the people who climb to form the upper parts of the tower, others are needed to form the pinya, or bottom base of the castell, to sustain its weight. Members of the pinya (most often men) also act as a 'safety net' if the tower structure collapses, cushioning the fall of people from the upper levels. It is not uncommon—when not in competitions—for other colles to assist in the pinya when a small colla is attempting a specially demanding structure in terms of people needed.
The castell is built in two phases. First, the pinya— the base of the tower — is formed. People forming higher levels of the tower move to a position from which they can easily get to their places in the tower. This is done slowly and carefully, and as subsequent base levels are completed the castellers in the pinya determine if their base is solid enough for construction to continue. Then, when the signal to proceed is given, bands begin to play the traditional Toc de Castells music as a hush comes over spectators of the event. The upper layers of the tower are built as quickly as possible in order to put minimal strain on the lower castellers, who bear most of the weight of the castell. The disassembly of the castell, done amidst the cheering of the crowd, is often the most treacherous stage of the event.
A 'rising' castell consists of successive layers added from the bottom by lifting the castell into the air, stage by stage and is regarded as taking a great deal of practice, skill, and strength.