At the beginning of the 1990’s, on the initiative of several teachers
from the ikastolas (Basque-medium schools) and the Association Bertsularien
Lagunak, the first classes in the art of versified improvisation were
given during school time.
Map of improvisation schools
The singer Anje Duhalde was the first teacher. Soon after, Ernest Alkhat,
himself an improviser, took over this heavy responsibility as a part-time
employee for almost ten years.
Other improvisation enthusiasts also gave lessons: Jean-Louis
Harignordoki, Michel Lekuona, Beñat Soulé and Kexus Arzallus amongst
others. But the results did not meet their expectations.
However the association Bertsularien Lagunak did not lose hope and set
out a new strategy for the teaching of improvisation.
It decided to employ a full-time teacher, Carlos Aizpurua from Oiartzun
(Gipuzkoa), who had a great deal of experience in this field. His method was
more efficient and improvisation “schools” sprung up in Hendaye,
Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Bayonne.
During the years that followed the movement gained momentum and classes
were also given at the ikastolas in Hasparren, Ustaritz, Cambo,
Saint-Just-Ibarre, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Chéraute.
Recently adults have also been able to benefit from this teaching in Ordiarp
Thanks to all this hard work, many events have been organised: Budding
improvisers’ festival (Bertsulari ttiki), festival of improvisation schools,
championships, meetings, intensive summer courses (bertsu udalekua), a
campaign in favour of improvisation at school, etc.
Bertsus by young improvisers ; Elosegi, Oiarburu and
MP3 format (2,4 Mo)
Northern Basque Country Young Improvisers’ Championship (Ayherre: 27 May
2004 -Bertsularien Lagunak Association)
Subject: "Are you in a hurry to be 18 years old and become