No less than five Basque groups are invited this year :
The group Txikia is part of the group of “Duguna – dancers of Pamplona”.
This group has been created by the Mayor of Pamplona in 1949 with the aim of dancing for the ceremonies organized by the city. Before being a group of ordinary children learning dances from here and there, it is above all the group where children learn to become full dancers of Duguna.
The main group has created dances especially for ceremonies such as San Fermin’s “Ezpata dantza”, dances for Saint Firmin and Saint Saturnin, “Soka Dantza” on the eve of Saint Blaise and Saint John … That is, Pamplona’s dances. To get there and to continue on this path, the Txikia group takes the first steps. The creation of the “Soka dantza” for young people is a good example and it will be presented during the Gauargi festival. We will also present 2 of the 7 dances that make up the Trokeo dance cycle. Other dances will also be revealed, such as “Sagar dantza” of Arizkun, “Arku dantza” of Biarritz and the “makil dantza” and “uztai txiki” of Guipuzcoa.
EZPELA DANTZA TALDEA
Originally, a group of young people from the village of Espelette animated the Carnival period, according to Basque folk tradition.
Quickly, this group of friends had the idea of founding a more elaborate structure, with the aim of maintaining, teaching and developing Basque culture, especially dance. 1969 saw the birth of Basque Art group EZPELA.
Today, the association has more than 150 members in various structures:
• The dance group – The dance school has around one hundred students.
• The choir of children was founded in 1990. About fifty young people learn various popular songs, classical, Basque … with great enthusiasm.
BEGIRALEAK DANTZA TALDEA
Begiraleak, is one of the oldest cultural associations of the North Basque Country. Born in 1935, it adopts the name of “Begiraleak”, “the maintainers”, to fix forever its goal: to maintain and transmit the Basque language and culture. Although in the beginning it was only a theater troupe, the dance will appear a few years later with the aim of making known the traditional Basque dance. In the 1980s, the group will revive the tradition of carnival labourdin, thanks to Betti Bettelu, famous master dancing. The association now has nearly 300 members: singers, musicians and dancers of all ages following the same thread, the Euskara. The dance section is the most developed, all the teachers are volunteers and most of the classes are in Euskara.
On the occasion of the festival Gauargi, it is a part of the children of Begiraleak who will present various dances acquired during the year, wearing the traditional local costumes. And yes, what would be the traditional Basque dance without a Basque costume?
The dances taught within the group are drawn from the traditional repertoire of the seven provinces of the Basque Country. Indeed children can start dancing from the age of 7 years. They will start with all the dances ‘say’ games (txulalai, San Petrike, Esku dantza …).Later, during their apprenticeship, they will have the opportunity, for one to two hours per week, to learn dances from different provinces.The diversity of Basque folklore is also noticeable by the richness of the costumes, the most famous outfit being the traditional ‘red skirt’ and the black txaleko (bolero). Each province has its own costume (color, shape, siding …) and each dance group in the towns or villages brings its personal touch (stripes, a pattern …). The group strives to adhere to these dress codes and to associate the right outfits with the different dances that are represented.
Rooted in the culture of 7 provinces of Basque Country, the group Izartxo is also innovative in making creations (Hartza Iguzki, Buruz Behera, Burrunka, Ihauteri…).
The transmission and promotion of intergenerational exchanges are also part of our priorities, for example the retention of Kaskarot tradition.
Dance and music being inseparable, the association is composed of several musical groups such as Txistulari, Gaiteros, the different Txaranga, trikitixak, and diffuse Hartzaro, Herri Uzta and Hartza Altzoan festivals.
The association supports the tradition, the creation, the diffusion and also the formation : with the music school and danse school the work started in the field of culture continues since 50 years.The young dancers who take part in the festival will present dances from all the Basque Country.