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A group of dance students from the University of Utah are in the Basque Country studying Basque dance



The arrived in Euskal Herria last Sunday, in Eibar, Gipuzkoa where they are staying for a week learning Basque dances.  They are dance students from the University of Utah.  They are not Basques themselves, and don’t have any relation with Basque, except for their interest in dance, and wanting to learn Basque dances.  They were preceded by a previous group from Utah who visited Eibar on a similar trip in 2008.  The Kezka Dantza Taldea authored the following article on 

Kezka Dantza Taldea Eibar, Gipuzkoa.   The expedition of ballet students arrived last Sunday from Salt Lake City, Utah.  They are 11 in all, all pursuing a degree in dance at the University of Utah, and will stay for a week learning Basque dance in Eibar, Bilbao and Errenteria.

Just as 9 years ago

Nine years ago, another group of ballet dancers also traveled to Eibar from Utah accompanied by a professor who had wanted to learn Basque dances, Richard Wackok.  This time, they have come without their professor, as Wackok had retired this year.  His replacement is Justine Sheedy, one of his students in 2008 who encouraged her students to travel to the Basque Country.

The group from Utah in Eibar, in front of a drawing that depicts one of the bombs that fell in the bombing of the city in 1937 (photo

A Tight Schedule

Sunday to Sunday, the students will have a very tight schedule.  On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday they will have dance classes at the Portalea Cultural Center in Eibar.  On Tuesday in Bilbao at Dantzerti, the Superior School of dance and Dramatic Art of Euskadi, where they will also have the opportunity to meet a group of students from the center.  On Thursday, they will be in Errenteria, at the Gipuzkoako Dantzagunea.

The main repertoire of dances that they will do during the week is comprised of dances from Gipuzkoa and Zuberoa, and the Fandango and Arin-Arin.  Under the coordination of and support from the Dantzan Ikasi Program, professors from Kezka, Dantzerti, Argia-Ikerfolk, Aiko and Bilbao Musika will teach the classes.

Educational Session on Friday

This Friday they will attend an educational session that is open to the public where dantzaris from Kezka and Argia who have taught them during the week, will perform some of these dances, so that the students can appreciate them on stage.  In return, the students from Utah will also perform some dances that they usually perform with their group in Salt Lake City.

The performance will be on Friday, May 12th at the Performance Hall at the Portalea Cultural Center in Eibar at 8:30pm, admission is free and it is open to the public.

(Published on

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