Here you have some images of the International Stick Dance Festival:


One more please!

On saturday, even on sunday, there were many smashed sticks due to the festival on the stick-dances.

Saturday evening

On May the 19th and the 20th it was celebrating the first international stick-dance festival together with the 42nd Euskal Jaia (Basque festival) of Eibar.

In spite of the bad weather we had the chance to see five stick-dance-groups in Untzaga square, in Eibar.

The first ones performing were those from Cortes. “Yona” dance group showed us their local stick-dances. Next ones were the “Danzantes de San Asensio” (La Rioja) . They danced some dances among all sort of the stick.dances of their region. The third group performing were “Haritz dantza taldea” from the neighbouring village of Elgoibar. With two groups of 12 people, 12 girls and 12 boys, they showed to the audience the short-stick-dance of the region of Guipuscoa, called “Gipuzkoako makila-txikien dantza“.

The fourth ones were the dancers from Otsagabia. They were all the time guided by the character of bobo and they danced some typical dances of Otsagabia, like “Emperador”, “Katutxa”. “Modorro” or “Jota”. The festival concluded with the performance of the local group Kezka dantza taldea. They showed us the short-stick-dance on the Lady of Arrate.

Rainy Sunday

If on Saturday it had not been raining so much, on Sunday it had been pouring with rain. At 10.30 in the morning all dance groups met at the town-council to be wellcomed by the town councillor on cultural affairs, Maria Jose Telelría. Then, when we saw that it did not stop raining, we determined to perform in the Coliseo theatre instead of doing in the local square.

Therefore, everyone met at the theatre, and this our international festival went on at the Coliseo. This time, we, the local dance group, were the first one performing. We (the whole dance groups and the school of dance) performed dances on the carnival of the villages of Abaltzisketa and Lizartza (both in Guipuscoa). Then it was the turn of the group of Castello, “El Todó-Danses Guerreres de la Todolella“. They showed us two stick-dances and a great sword-dance. Then the group from Cortes began their performance beating and smashing their sticks, and this became very nice for the audience.

The bastoners of Terrassa (Catalonia) performed with two great groups and their nice movements and beautiful stick-playing also became very grateful for the people. After this group it was the turn of the stick-dancers of “Oin Arin” of Antzuola (Guipuscoa). 12 dancers showed us their own stick-dance.

The Portuguese dancers of “Pauliteiros de Miranda do Douro” were the ones who smashed their sticks too, and even more, they asked for more sticks because theirn own ones were absolutely broken. They showed us some heavy but great stick-dances and even a human tower. After the Portuguese ones it was the turn for the group Izartxo from Uztaritz. They performed the stick dances of “Errobiko kaskarotak”

The Britannia Coco-nut Dancers of Bacup were the most special ones for us due to their blackened faces and their special dressing, and because they are unique in the world!. They performed two Garland dances and a “Nut” dance. One of these dancers was 71 years old… amazing!

This first international festival on the stick-dances end with the performance of the groups “Indarra” from Gasteiz. They danced stick-dances from Pipaón and Villabuena (Álava).

The party carried on in Untzaga square. After a popular lunch we enjoyed with the festival of the music group “Patxi eta Konpainia”

A brief account on the international stick-dance festival of Pamplona

Although there was a not good weather, the first international stick-dance festival began in Iruñea (Pamplona) at 17.45 hours in the square of Burgos, after a parade thorough the streets of the old part of the city.

The first ones performing were those of “Duguna dantza taldea“. This group, together with “Kezka dantza taldea” of Eibar has been the organiser of this festival. They, first of all danced the “Berako makil-dantzak“, these kids preceeded to the girls stick-dance of “Gipuzkoako makila-txikiena” and finally, the boys performed the dances of Otsagabia: “Katutxa” and “Modorro”.

Next ones were the “Pauliteiros de Miranda do Douro” from Portugal. They showed us some very heavy but quick stic-dances, even they smashed some sticks!

The dancers of “Larratz dantzari taldea“, Burlada (Navarre) performed some stick-dances of the Corpus Day of the village of Oñati (Guipuscoa) and after these were the turn of “Kezka dantza taldea“, the co-organizer of this festival. Together with the txistu players of the “Usartza” band they performed the short-stick dance on the Lady of Arrate.

From Eibar to England. The Britannia Coco-nut dancers of Bacup was an special group for us due to their blackened faces, hats like turbans, Lancashire clogs and decorated with many coloured feathers. None of them were indifferent to the audience.

Going on with the festival, it was the turn for the group “Aiara dantza taldea” of Amurrio (Álava). They showed us the dances of the village of Villabuena. Next ones were the other local group “Oberena dantza taldea“, giving an exhibition on the dances of Cortes (Navarre).

Mendianike dantza taldea“, a dance group from Ablitas, Navarre, performed two stick-dances on the Lady of Rosario.

From Navarre to Tauste, Zaragoza. The “Danzantes de Tauste” have many similarities with the stick-dances of Navarre, due to their geograhical neighbouring. The final human tower they made was very amazing.

From Zaragoza to Terrassa, Catalonia. These “Bastoners” (the typical stick-dancers of Catalonia) showed us four stic-dances of their “Ball de Bastons”.

This festival end with the performances of two groups. The first one was “El Todó. Danses guerreres de la Todolella“, from Castellón. This is an special group for us because in the XVIIth century the danzantes of Valencia were the ones who used to come to dance to Iruñea in San Fermin´s day and in the Corpus day. Thus, the final group was the one of “Danzantes de San Lorenzo“, a group which belongs to the XVIIIth century. They performed two stick-dances and one with garlands.

Often, in folklore, we use to look for some kind of remote exotism, singularity and something different from ours. However, this time, instead of that singularity, we wanted to search for similarities. Last year, as we did in the Sword-dance festival, this year, in the stick-dance festival organised by Iruñea and Eibar we looked for some other foreign traditional dance groups. In spite of going abroad, we looked for a similarity, not for a singularity. Even though we speak a different language or we have a different ladscape or way of life, by this festival we want to demonstrate that there are lots of affinities among all the traditional stick dances. We tried to show the people from Iruñea and Eibar the links between the dancers from Antzuola, Cortes or Otsagabia and those from Miranda de Douro, Bacup, Terrasa or Todolella.

Stick-dances are one of the eldest and most expanded traditional dances all over Europe. Eight dancers with their own ornaments in head and chest, bells under knees and a stick in each hand. Hit yours sticks and dance yours legs (jo makilak, dantzatu oinak!). Years and centuries will be spent and many generations will go by, and even so stick-dances will survive alive and kicking everywhere. Be sure that in this twenty first century we will be enjoying with these stick dances for time.

Here you have a map with all the groups will be dancing in Iruñea and Eibar this weekend.

makila-dantzak-2007 tagged map – Tagzania

Eibar. May the 19th, Saturday

19.30: short-stick festival in Untzaga square. Both Basque and international short-stick dance groups’ performance:


Iruñea (Pamplona). May the 19th, Saturday

17.45: Parade through the streets of old part of town. All groups of the festival and misicians

18.30: Short-stick festival in Burgo square. Both Basque and international short-stick dancer’s performance:

21.30: Dinner at the Aranzadi sport centre.

EIBAR. May the 20th, Sunday

12.00p.m. Parade from Urkizu square to Untzaga square with all short-stick dance groups, musicians and other traditional instrument players with and accordionists from Eibar, and from Jainaga’s school of accordion.

12.30p.m. Short-stick festival at Untzaga square. Performance with Basque and foreign dance groups:

19.00. Larrain-dantza at Untzaga square

14.30. Lunch at Untzaga square.

17.00 Dance at Untzaga square with Patxi eta Konpainia band

We have organised an international stick dance festival in Eibar and in Pamplona –Iruñea in the Basque language – This festival, organised by Kezka and Duguna dance groups will invite to take part in, some foreign and local dance groups from Valencia, Catalonia, England, Portugal and the Basque Country.

We have to point out the participation of The Britannia Coco-nut Dancers of Bacup in our festival, one of the most special and recognized dance groups among the Morris dancers in England. From Portugal, Pauliteiros de Miranda do Douro, a group that owns a great and wealthy tradition in stick dances will come to Eibar and Pamplona.

Together with all these dance groups there will take part in our festival some other groups from Rioja, Castellón, Aragón, Catalonia and several ones from the different places of the Basque Country. All in all, there will be 20 dance groups more or less who will take part in our international short stick dance festival celebrating on May the 19th and 20th