Among the Basque it’s a common joke to say that we don’t know how to dance, even that we are not anatomically made for it! But no, we have rhythm in our bodies and in fact dancing is an essential part of the Basque cultural expressions, that drink from ancient collective festivities that sought uniting the community, honoring the authorities or religious events. It’s time to speak about the Basque traditional dances.
The most famous is the Aurresku, which nowadays is seen in many weddings, openings or institutional encounters where the dantzari (dancer) does a complex and very demanding dance to the sound of the music of the txistu and the tamboril. An also very spectacular dance it’s the Ezpata dantza, native to Durango and danced during the processions of the Corpus Christi. This ostentatious dance involves the use of swords by the dancers, remembering a battle or warrior ritual with its precise movements.
And even if there are many types of Basque dances, I want to dedicate some words to more modern versions of these. Like the ones done by the group Tio Teronen Semeak, who reinterpret our lifelong dances with modern elements or fitting in contemporary songs in lifelong dantzas.
Well, I have something to confess. I am a Basque person that doesn’t know how to dance, so the talent and the skill of the dantzaris have always made me jealous as I also admire them. If the same happens to you when watching the dantzaris, don’t worry, it’s normal.