The beat of tradition

In every corner of Bilbao Bizkaia, the beat of tradition resonates with the rhythm of Basque dances. A form of expression that goes beyond mere entertainment; it is a deep connection with our roots, a way of communicating the history and identity of our people.

The passion with which we live these dances is undeniable, and every movement is a celebration of our cultural heritage.

Basque dancing forms an integral part of the celebrations during a variety of festive events held over the year. There is also a wide network of dance groups and dance schools, and in most towns and villages Basque dances are performed for the public. There is great interest in traditional dance, and the figure of the dantzari is essential in popular festivals.

Basque dancing has endured through the ages.

Among the many Basque dances that have stood the test of time, there are some that have become priceless treasures of our tradition.

One of them is the Kaixarranka, originally from the charming coastal town of Lekeitio. Their movements evoke the waves of the sea, carrying with them the quintessential seafaring charm that defines this community. Traditionally, the Kaixarranka dances are performed to the sound of the txistu flute and the tambourine.

The Dantzari Dantza of Durango is another jewel that has lasted for generations. The graceful and vigorous steps tell the story of the perseverance and strength of our people. On the eve of the patron saint's festivities, the group of dancers rehearse and raise the trunk called Donienatxa in the town square.

The Aurresku, a dance that nowadays has become the most typical ceremonial dance to mark all kinds of celebrations such as weddings, inaugurations and institutional meetings. Danced to the sound of the txistu and the tambourine, the Aurresku is an artistic manifestation that has endured over time. The dancer is usually dressed in the traditional way, with a white shirt and trousers, white espadrilles, a black txapela (beret in Basque) and a green gerriko (sash).

The Xemeingo dantza, an ancient dance from Markina-Xemein, involves linked swords and has been performed without interruption for centuries. It takes place on 29 September next to the chapel of San Miguel de Arretxinaga.

And what about Bizkaiko Dantzari Eguna, a sacred day in our cultural calendar. Every year, a different place in Bizkaia becomes the epicentre of a festival that celebrates our passion for Basque dances. It is a day when the community comes together to dance to the rhythm of tradition, reaffirming the importance of these dances in our daily lives.

In Bilbao Bizkaia, Basque dances are not simply subtle movements, they are the very heartbeat of our community. They stand the test of time, are passed down from generation to generation and are rooted in the daily life of our peoples. Every step tells a story, every turn celebrates our rich cultural heritage.

In Basque dances, we find more than a performing art; we discover a way of life rooted in tradition, an expression of our identity. We dance with passion, live with tradition and celebrate with each movement the unbreakable bond that unites us to the Basque dances, the beat of Bilbao Bizkaia.