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The second edition of the Basque Choreographers Festival combines dance, literature, cinema and bertsos in Berlin


Poster announcing the second edition of the Festival of Basque choreographers in Berlin
Poster announcing the second edition of the Festival of Basque choreographers in Berlin


The second edition of the Basque Choreographers Festival is jammed packed with activities from December 9-11th. The event was initiated by Mikel Aristegui, dancer from Donostia, now living in Germany, with the cooperation of Berlin’s Basque Center. This year, in addition to gathering a roster of notable dancers and choreographers, the festival will also feature the participation of writers like Edorta Jimenez and Itxaro Borda. “Dance in the Basque Country is growing but, unfortunately for the professionals and the public in general this growth is very slow and remains below the European average,” Aristegui told, “while Berlin provides the right conditions for a festival of this size.”

Berlin, Germany.  The Basque community in Berlin is preparing to end the year with a major event, the second Festival of Basque Choreographers.  After the success of the first festival, the biennial festival is again taking place at its headquarters and will bring 50 artists from both Iparralde and Hegoalde to Berlin.  “In this edition we hope to give Basque choreographers the chance to make themselves known in Europe.  Ever since the first edition, the festival became a kind of platform for some choreographers,” Mikel Aristegui explained.

It’s strange that such a festival would take place in Berlin, but the work the by a group of professional Basque-Berlinites and other circumstances have led to these Basque dancers being presented there.  “Dance in the Basque Country is growing but, unfortunately for the professions and the pubic in general, it is happening very slowly and is still below the European average.  Personally, I think that it is time that the Administration check the numbers and try to level out the public investment in this arena,” Aristegui said.

Taking Center Stage in Berlin

The festival, organized by Aristegui and the Art & Proyect company, is also supported by the Etxepare Basque Institute, the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, the Basque Government (through Berlin’s Euskal Etxea), and the Basque Cultural Institute of Iparralde (EKE) as well as the General Council of the Atlantic Pyrenees.  It is also supported by the Uferstudio and Tanzfabrik studios, the Bogota Hotel, Berlin’s Cervantes Institute and the ADDE, the association of professional dancers of the Basque Country, and it's especially supported by Berlin’s Euskal Etxea.

Since becoming an oficial Basque club two years ago, the Gernika Association (as the Center is called) “has quadrupled its number of members and currently we have a dance group as well as two groups of students studying Euskera.  “The Basque community is taking shape and gaining prominence in Berlin,” Aristegui explains.


Friday, December 9

-2:00pm-5:00pm - Fandango & Arin Arin Workshop by Eneko Gil Alberdi and Nerea Vesga, Uferstudios, Studio 4. 

-7:00pm - Presentation of the book 'Baleen Berbaroa' with the author, Edorta Jimenez, accompanied by the performance of the dantzari Idoia Zabaleta and musician Laurentx Etxemendi. Studio 4.

 -8:00pm - Dance: 'batean Batteleku' by Mikel Aristegui, Silvana Suarez Cedeño, Eneko Gil Alberdi, and 'Carni di qualità prima', duo performed by Natxo Montero and Patricia sources. Studio 4.

-9: 30pm: screening of the documentary "Apaizac obeto', by Jon Maia. Studio 1.

 Saturday, December 10  

-2:00pm-5: 00pm: Contemporary dance workship by Natxo Montero. Studio 4. 

-7:00pm: Literature. Poetic recital by Itxaro Borda with performance by Naomi Viana and Laurentx Etxemendi. Studio 4. 

-8:00pm. Dance: ' fissure n ° 3' with Idoia Zabaleta and 'Lilas', Natalia Monge, trio. Studio 1.

 Sunday, December 11  

-7:00pm: confrontation/improvisation: 'Improviser-Dantzalari', Miren Artexte and Jon Maia. Studio 4.

-8: 00pm: Dance: 'Gorpitz 1' by the Elirale company Pantxika Telleria; 'Pi20' of Noemi Viana, duo; and "Wie eine Große Familie', by Mikel Aristegui, 4 dancers, 10 young and 3 musicians." Studio 1

 -9: 30 pm: screening of the documentary 'Modern Basque Surfing', Iker Treviño and Xabier Zirikiain. Studio 1.

-Party and closure of the festival.  

-More information about the festival on his blog or on Facebook
-To collaborate with the festival, click here 

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