Bricolage - Assembling New Traditions
This advisory committee was created to offer assistance to Basque organizations that are seeking to adopt/redefine/inaugurate a signature community ritual event fusing traditional Basque attributes with local characteristics and context.
Bri-co-lage. –noun, [bree-kuh-lah-zhiz]. A construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.
The advisory committee aims to offer advice to those interested in doing something with dance? something with music? something with the arts? etc. to create a unique Basque community event.
This group of advisors aims to provide the means to follow through on what Gloria Lejardi said at a dance workshop: "If I know better, then I can do better." Each volunteer advisor has particular expertise and all are accomplished visionaries. This group can be a sounding-board for those communities that are interested in developing something as a signature community ritual event fusing traditional Basque attributes with local characteristics and context.
Juan Antonio Urbeltz (Donostia, Gipuzkoa)
Oier Araolaza (Eibar, Bizkaia)
Iñaki Arregi (Andoain, Gipuzkoa)
Jexux Larrea (Donostia, Gipuzkoa)
Lisa Corcostegui, Ph.D. (Reno, Nevada)
Thomas W. Faucher (Boise, Idaho)
Pierre Igoa (Bakersfield, California)
Pierre has worked with various factes of Basque arts including painting, and is accomplished in playing trumpet.
A Signature Event for your Basque Community
Perhaps your Basque community is considering developing a unique ritual, something that will meld elements of Basque tradition with local characteristics or features, that will serve as a signature event. This committee can serve as a resource in helping to develop something distinctive and meaningful.
What is ritual? Broadly, it is an action or series of actions with intentional symbolic meaning that is performed for a specific cultural purpose and that reinforces community bonds. Rituals can both reflect and bring about a firm sense of group identity.
Towns in the Basque Country each have their own unique ritual usually associated with a patron saint's feast day, Ihauteria, or Saint John's day, etc. The elements that form part of the ritual are unique to that town: groups in a procession, choreography, costumes, characters, etc. Over the centuries, these rituals have come to be strong identity markers and are a source of pride and solidarity of each town.
For various reasons, a ritual can be historically interrupted and fall into disuse, or a new community can arise with a need for its own ritual. A well-thought-out newly-created ritual can become tradition surprisingly quickly as its symbolic elements coalesce and reach the community on a deep non-verbal level.
Creating this kind of ritual, however, should not be taken lightly. To be succesful and respectful of Basque culture in general a broad knowledge of Basque culture and folklore is fundamental. That is why we have assembled the advisory board to provide guidance.
If you are interested in pursuing a new tradition for your community think about:
- The Basque Country roots of the members of your community - how can you reflect them?
- What makes your community unique?
- How can you integrate individuals who are not involved in a dance group?
- How can you involve the greater community outside your club?
- Think beyond the dance group. To be truly succesful a tradition must be participatory, not solely performance oriented
Below are some examples of new traditions from the Basque Country and the Untied States:
Eibar, Gipuzkoa: Arrateko Ezpata Dantza
Iruña (Pamplona): San Fermin Aldapakoaren Ezpata Dantza
Some American examples:
Boise, ID: St. Ignatius Mass
Chino, CA: Besta Berri Celebration
Video from Heleta: https://www.dantzan.com/bideoak/heleta-besta-berri-2007
Ontario, OR - Mikel Deuna Celebration:
Miguel Deunaren Celebration Facebook Album
Potential creation: A soka-dantza or some sort of ritual for NABO officers and delegates to be performed at the annual Convention.
American Jazz (Brubeck) melded with English Morris Dance: Youtube.com/watch?v=PnZZlEEyJ8c