Arizkungo Sagar Dantzari - Zenbat Garaeskalapoin dantzari - Zenbat GaraEvery year for ihauteriak (carnival) young men from Arizkun in the Baztan valley perform the ritual Sagar Dantza or apple dance. The dancers, accompanied by musicians, make their way around the village doing a zortziko, a dance that serves as locomotion, and repeat the Sagar Dantza, in several locations.  Between each set of dances they rest and have a glass of sagardoa (hard cider). 

In 1928 a version of this dance for women was choreographed for a theatrical production in Donostia. While the new dance retains some of the same melodic and choreographic themes, it is quite different than the original dance from Arizkun.  The women's dance is much more balletic, while the dance from Arizkun emphasizes male strength and agility.
Sagar Dantza in Arizkun 2000

hartzaAfter lunch members of the general population come out in costume and participate in the communal ihauteriak.  Figures representing a bear, hartza, and a bear trainer also roam the streets engaged in their own struggle. During this part of the day, chaos rules.

Another distinctive dance from Arizkun is Eskalpoin Dantza (The Wooden Shoe Dance).  Wooden shoes were used traditionally in many parts of the Basque Country.  Usually other footwear was worn inside the eskalapoinak and straw was stuffed in to take up any extra room.  This protected the wearers' shoes from soggy and muddy conditions common to a climate in which rain is frequent.

Eskalapoin Dantza belongs to the area's typical genre of Mutil Dantzak which traditionally were danced only by men.  The lyrics to Eskalpoin Dantza were recorded by Azkue and are included in his collection of Basque songs.  

Arizkun (Spanish)
Baztan Valley (Spanish)

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Images on this and other Cyber Dantza pages Copyright © 2001  Lisa Corcostegui