When I studied abroad in Ecuador last year, I learned how to dance salsa and merengue (albeit poorly). Now, dancing is one of my favorite activities and I love to go out with my friends to dance (or try to teach them, which is entertainment in itself). I even joined the UIUC Ballroom Dancing Club, so you know my Polka is legit. This new found love of dance (or DANCE! as I like to call it) inspired me to do a little research on the dance of the Basque culture.
First off, as Wikipedia tells me (yeah, I used Wikipedia, and anyone who tells you they don’t use it in their research is a liar), there are a few types of traditional dance in the Basque Country. One is called Dantzari Dantza, which is from Biscay. This dance is a cycle of dances which consists of two rows of dancers. After watching a video of Dantzari Dantza on Youtube, it reminded me a lot of Riverdance. The dancers use weapons (mainly swords, it seems) and as they dance they imitate dueling, which I think is pretty bada– I mean, cool). I really like the music they dance to because it features flute, which we all know is my main squeeze. The dancers also have bells attached to their shins, which gives the dance a pretty cool effect.
Another type of dance is Mutxikoak, which is performed in a circle. The circle apparently imitates the sun. The dance now is performed primarily by women, and is often seen at festivals. In the video I found, we have some very casual looking women hanging out and dancing Mutxikoak, which reminds me a bit of my Sunday afternoons. I think Mutxikoak is fun to watch and looks like something I could get into if I ever make the trip across the pond.
So that’s my extensive research on Basque dance, and now I’m off to a shindig where I can show off my rumba skills!
Show of hands, who here dances?