Fandango & Arin Arin Workshop - 2009

Fandango Videos | Arin Arin Videos | Audio | Sheet Music | Workshop Photos

Joxema Mendiola Instructor:
Joxema Mendiola

Joxema was a long-time dancer in the group Argia (Donostia, Gipuzkoa) and then the dance director of the group "Arkaitz" (which performed at Jaialdi in 1995 & 2000)

The de-facto national dance of the Basques is the Fandango (Jota) and the accompanying Arin-arin.  You too can learn these popular dances and then join right in with the festivities.  See the video clips below; you also have the links to the music.   

Fandango vs. Jota

FandangoThe Fandango is essentially the national dance of the Basques.  It is almost always followed by the Arin-arin.  There are many variations of the Fandango and Arin-arin, including the "Jota" and "Porrusalda."  The significant difference is that the Fandango uses four parts while the Jota uses just three, with the third segment being longer, usually for the singing of verses.  The same applies to the Arin-arin and Porrusalda.  Despite these differences, the Fandango and Jota share much in common.  The steps for each segment are essentially interchangeable; i.e., if you learn steps for the Fandango you can use those for the Jota and vice-a-versa.  The same applies for the Arin-arin and Porrusalda.  The versions here we call "Mendiola" after our instructor Joxema Mendiola to distinguish it from various versions.  Apart from some set pieces that are fixed (e.g., there is always a turning step) there's no one "right way" of doing these dances because of the variety of steps.



Sheet music

Fandango Step 1

Fandango Step 2

Fandango Step 3

Fandango Step 4

Entire Fandango from front

Transition 1 to 2

Transition 2 to 3

Transition 3 to 4

Transition follows the turns



Transition 4 to 1

Entire Fandango from back

Arin Arin


Sheet music

Arin Arin Step 1

Arin Arin Step 3

Arin Arin Transitions

Entire Arin Arin from back

Arin Arin Step 2

Arin Arin Step 4

Entire Arin Arin from front






Nere Gogokoa

Tapia Fandango 1

Tapia Fandango 2

Arin Arin


Tapia Arin-arin 1

Tapia Arin-arin 2



The following is a googletranslate version of this online source:

Among the dances that were used during the popular dance sessions associated with saint day celebrations, from the eighteenth century, there are two that have a particular importance as they were present at all of htese gatherings: the Jota and the Porrusalda.  These dances, by the early twentieth century were stylized and transformed by dance groups.

The exact origin of the Jota and Porrusalda is unknown. According to some experts these dances could come from Arab countries, probably induced by the importance that the movement of the arms is in these dances, and were extending their influence, first from the south, then westward to climb to reach the north end Peninsular and back towards the East.  Taking into account as indicated by Iztueta in the eighteenth century these dances seem to be late introductions.

The oldest written evidence indicates that in the first third of the nineteenth century in the Basque Country there was music that corresponded to the jota. Some authors stress that these dances did not enter the Basque Country before the sixteenth or seventeenth century, and that the Basque origin of this lies in Bizkaia in the 17-18th centuries, from were it extended eastwards to Gipuzkoa and the Iparralde, well into the nineteenth century. 

There are many theories regarding the origin and dissemination of these dances, but what if you can say that their introduction is rather late in the corpus of Basque dance, compared to other dances on a much larger tradition, and its fairly recent assimilation, although very successful. 

These dances are mixed, that is for boys and girls to be danced together.  One variation has these dances accompanied by songs sung. 

As for the choreography should be emphasized that in the case of the Arratia jota is danced by couples, dancing girls and boys face. Dances are putting the couples pilgrimage distributed throughout the square. 

It is necessary to comment that, although currently there is a sequence of steps defined in its origin to execute the steps would probably be very different, depending on the learning ability of each and serve, no doubt, for most give a proof of his ability in front of your partner. 

Moreover, the so-called Kopla, singing, or baltseo it was seized because it was running "a rioja caught" in the form of a waltz, which made the clergy lift angry protests and led to the ban seized in times of J. A. Primo de Rivera, and termed the "soinu txikerra or accordion trikitixa as" Infernuko Auspoa. 

Dress with something similar to the music, since being a dance pilgrimage, you can use different types of costumes. 

The costumes for these dances employee is employed in Bizkaia by the year 1900 taken from photographs and prints with the help of the costume department of the Ethnographic Museum in Bilbao. 

The Jota is a melody of ternary rhythm, alternating with three distinct parts: two tartekos "which, according to some characteristics were different between them, both in music and in the form of dances, although this difference did not reach today, and third party, called "kopla", "singing", "baltseo", "tooth", for more than the tartekos and runs with a slower rate, giving rise to dance "a rioja seized, and also that this part was sung using a octosílaba quatrain or couplet. " 

The melody is a Porrusalda ternary rhythm, which also shows the alternation of three parts, two "tartekos" and a "kopla," the same manner as in the jota. In this case, the verses are sung in the form of "seguidilla. 

Two other dances of pilgrimage, or the Basque fandango orripeko and arin-arin, which today is usually confused with the Jack and the porrusalda, which have a more lively pace, and lack kopla or part sung. 

Being a dance pilgrimage, can be executed with any music. For this same reason, you can use different types of instruments such as tambourine and txistu the dultzaina and drum or alboka or trikitixa and tambourine.

Workshop Photos


Joxema in Homedale
Homedale Workshop participants included Homedale; Ontario, Oregon, and Buffalo, Wyoming dancers and instructors

Thanks to hosting clubs:

San Francisco





Orson Welles