Kabalkadak & Jauziak

The Kabalkada is a tradition of Iparralde that includes a procession through town of dancers and a variety of other characters.


There are variations, but here is how the Arnegi version is set up:

Jantziak: (Characters & costumes)
Bolanteak (neskak + mutikoak gorriz)
Txamardunak neskak eta mutikoak (black skirts)
Zapurrak (Aizkora)

As the participants make their way throuth the streets they make stops to collect foodstuffs and money in an age-old tradition known as Puska Biltzea. The final destination is the town square or handball court where jauziak and kontra dantzak and performed.

Kabalkada in Lasa in 1994


BolantakThe jauziak, mutxikoak, or sauts basques are circular dances in which the participants, without making physical contact with one another and keeping the center of the circle as a reference point, execute certain steps or dance moves that vary according to each particular dance. Steps like the zote, dobla, and pika maintain the direction of the dance, while steps like the erdizka, ezker, and eskuin change its direction. Steps that maintain the dance's direction are always initiated with the foot toward the outside of the circle, and spins and changes of direction are always completed with the foot toward the inside of the circle. The best-known short jauziak are Hegi, Ostalarrak, and Marianak, and long are the Mutxikoak, Lapurtar Motxak,and Moneinak.

These dances have traditionally taken place to the north of the Pyrenees, in Lapurdi (Labourd), Behe Nafarroa (Basse Navarre), and Zuberoa (Soule), as well as Bearn, and in the town of Luzaide (Valcarlos), in Nafarroa (Navarre). They are often danced in fiestas, notably the Easter Sunday celebration of Luzaide. In the Baztan Valley of Nafarroa another dance style, the mutildantzak (boys' dances), is undoubtedly related to the jauziak, although some differences make it unique. They share some melodies and step structures as well as a similar way of arranging the dance through the combination of different steps, but in the mutifdantzak the steps are essentially made up of turns the dantzaria (dancer) executes while remaining in the same spot.

Names of steps vary from place to place. Below is a table from Urraska by Aiko Taldea:


The jauziak  have been danced to the accompaniment of a wide range of instrumental groupings, and they also have been sung. The use of one or another instrument has varied across eras, fashions, or, usually, the availability of musicians. Among the instruments that accompanied the jauziak  (between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries), Jean-Michel Giiilcher cites as one of the most regular the violin-ttunttuna (a three-holed flute) accompanied by a psaltery (or stringed drum) grouping.  As with many other dances, the lone danbolindaria  or ttunttuneroa  (taborer) was also common, whether playing the txirula  or the txistua  (Basque three-holed pipes) and the ttunttun  (psaltery) or the danbolina  (tabor), sometimes also accompanied by a backup drummer.  From the nineteenth century onward, the accordion began gammg ground, and it has now become one of the main instruments used to interpret the jauziak.  Indeed, one of our main musical references is Befiat Irigoyen,  "Galtxetaburu," (Monterey Park-California 1934-1990) an accordionist from Gamarte (Camarthe), Nafarroa Beherea. In addition to and accompanying the accordion are orchestras of wind and percussion instruments (clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, etc.) that have become a regular accompaniment for the jauziak  in plaza dances and dance group performances.

Each of the jauziak  fulfills its own choreographic structure -like a puzzle- through the combination of different steps, each with its own name and structure, and all known by the dantzariak  (dancers). Each dance is organized and interpreted by the dantzariak  knowing how to dance each of the steps, their order or structure, and their relationship to the musical discourse of each piece. The structures that define the distribution of steps and music have been passed down through various score collections compiled on the  jauziak.  Fortunately, we have been able to compare them with the actual dance masters who have taught them up until the present time. Therefore, sometimes, and depending on the source, we have found variants in the structure of the jauziak.

At present, there are two basic forms for dancing the [auziale:  a) the antrexatak technique, based on the jumping and percussion, with the raised foot touching-percussing the one on the ground (this can be done with single or double beats), as performed in Luzaide and around Garazi, and b) the urraslea  technique, which is the most widespread, performed on the ground, based on walking as if in "suspension" or "bouncing", marking the rhythm with the steps made up of two types of beats: principal and secondary.' The length of the movement linkages or steps can be of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 beats (principal beats), coinciding with the suspended steps of the dancers. As regards doing the dances themselves, there are several important variations depending on various factors including:

The locality in which it is danced: there are local variants of the different steps, above all-although not entirely- in the way they are finished.  The time and place of the dance: it is not danced the same in major fiestas in town plazas, where group and collective sentiment is emphasized, as in a bar, where free rein is given to measured improvisation and play.

The ability of the dantzaria (dancer): who adorns the predetermined steps with particular flourishes within the limitations of mandated styles, especially in places like Luzaide where the dance has persisted.

Traditionally, the names of the steps in the shortest dantza jauziak were not sung in the plaza. Only the most complex were called out by the dance master or a particular dancer.  The execution of the entire dantza [auzia (jauzia dance) by memory was highly valued.  Although today it is normal to mark or sing aloud the steps of the jauziak, in our opinion, memorizing the jauzia gives the dancer a holistic vision of the dance, helps the dancer to understand and better execute the linkages of the steps, and permits real enjoyment of the music.

For this edition, we have adopted Sagaseta's naming systems, which is also in current use in Luzaide and it coincides, for the most part, with that of Nafarroa Beherea-Lapurdi as well.

The custom was that the dance master taught the steps in their homes, and then charged their students in kind. The students began with the shortest jauzia or jauzi buztanak (literally, the tailor end jauziak) in order to later memorize the intricate structures of the jauzi osoak (complete jauziak) favored in their localities. To execute some of the more complicated jauziak, the dance master -or skilled dantzariak arranged in different parts of the circle- marked aloud the steps to be made. However, a common system to memorize the jauziak melodies was for each danrzaria to hum the melody, together with the singing of the names of the steps at the starting point of each step. In this way, students learned the music and its choreographic structure at the same time.

The bralea of Zuberoa has been included in this version of the jauziak  because it is the only example still found in the Basque Country of the branles  (an old French group dance performed by couples either in a line or in a circle, characterized by stepping from side to side), which were probably the predecessors of today's jauziak  and which share many characteristics (steps, disposition, circular dancing, etc.)."

audioBolant Dantza

audioErdizka Lauetan

audioZazpi Jauziak




audioLapurtar Motxak





audioDantza Luze

audioBenafarroako Martxa


audioArin Arin

audioKontra Dantza 1

audioKontra Dantza 2

audioKontra Dantza 3

audioKontra Dantza 4 (Xilo Xilo)

audioPolka Pik




Foku Musikala


Orson Welles