national dance of the Basques is the Fandango (Jota)
and the accompanying Arin-arin. You too can
learn these popular dances and then join right in with the
festivities. See the video clips below; you also
have the links to the music.
Baztan Dances Workshop
The versions we have posted
here (because there are various) we call the "Mendiola
Fandango" and "Mendiola Arin-arin" because they were
introduced and instructed by Joxema Mendiola,
as part of NABO's
2009 dance workshop
JOTA. The Fandango is essentially the national dance of the
Basques. It is almost always followed by the Arin-arin.
There are many variations of the Fandango and Arin-arin, including
the "Jota" and "Porrusalda." The significant difference is
that the Fandango uses four parts while the Jota uses just three,
with the third segment being longer, usually for the singing of
same applies to the Arin-arin and Porrusalda. Despite these
differences, the Fandango and Jota
share much in common. The steps for each segment are
essentially interchangeable; i.e., if you learn steps for the
Fandango you can use those for the Jota and vice-a-versa. The
same applies for the Arin-arin and Porrusalda. The versions
here we call "Mendiola" after our instructor Joxema Mendiola
to distinguish it from various versions. Apart from
some set pieces that are fixed (e.g., there is always a
turning step) there's no one "right way" of doing these
dances because of the variety of steps.
is a googletranslate version of this online source:
dances that were used for pilgrimage, from the eighteenth
century, there are two that have a particular importance as
they could not miss on any pilgrimage: the Jota and the
Porrusalda. These dances, by the early twentieth
century were stylized and transformed by dance groups.
The exact origin of the Jota and Porrusalda is unknown.
According to some experts these dances could come from Arab
countries, probably induced by the importance that the
movement of the arms is in these dances, and were extending
their influence, first from the south, then westward to
climb to reach the north end Peninsular and back towards the
East. Taking into account as indicated by Iztueta in
the eighteenth century these dances seem to be late
The oldest written evidence indicates that in the first
third of the nineteenth century in the Basque Country there
was music that corresponded to the jota. Some authors stress
that these dances did not enter the Basque Country before
the sixteenth or seventeenth century, and that the Basque
origin of this lies in Bizkaia in the 17-18th centuries,
from were it extended eastwards to Gipuzkoa and the
Iparralde, well into the nineteenth century.
There are many theories regarding the origin and
dissemination of these dances, but what if you can say that
their introduction is rather late in the corpus of Basque
dance, compared to other dances on a much larger tradition,
and its fairly recent assimilation, although very
These dances are mixed, that is for boys and girls to be
danced together. One variation has these dances
accompanied by songs sung.
As for the choreography should be emphasized that in the
case of the Arratia jota is danced by couples, dancing girls
and boys face. Dances are putting the couples pilgrimage
distributed throughout the square.
It is necessary to comment that, although currently there is
a sequence of steps defined in its origin to execute the
steps would probably be very different, depending on the
learning ability of each and serve, no doubt, for most give
a proof of his ability in front of your partner.
Moreover, the so-called Kopla, singing, or baltseo it was
seized because it was running "a rioja caught" in the form
of a waltz, which made the clergy lift angry protests and
led to the ban seized in times of J. A. Primo de Rivera, and
termed the "soinu txikerra or accordion trikitixa as"
Dress with something similar to the music, since being a
dance pilgrimage, you can use different types of costumes.
The costumes for these dances employee is employed in
Bizkaia by the year 1900 taken from photographs and prints
with the help of the costume department of the Ethnographic
Museum in Bilbao.
The Jota is a melody of ternary rhythm, alternating with
three distinct parts: two tartekos "which, according to some
characteristics were different between them, both in music
and in the form of dances, although this difference did not
reach today, and third party, called "kopla", "singing", "baltseo",
"tooth", for more than the tartekos and runs with a slower
rate, giving rise to dance "a rioja seized, and also that
this part was sung using a octosílaba quatrain or couplet. "
The melody is a Porrusalda ternary rhythm, which also shows
the alternation of three parts, two "tartekos" and a "kopla,"
the same manner as in the jota. In this case, the verses are
sung in the form of "seguidilla.
Two other dances of pilgrimage, or the Basque fandango
orripeko and arin-arin, which today is usually confused with
the Jack and the porrusalda, which have a more lively pace,
and lack kopla or part sung.
Being a dance pilgrimage, can be executed with any music.
For this same reason, you can use different types of
instruments such as tambourine and txistu the dultzaina and
drum or alboka or trikitixa and tambourine.