Jota & Porru Zaharrak Workshop - 2010
This workshop focused on variations of the Jota and Porrusalda that have been preserved in and around the valley of Arratia in Bizkaia, featuring visiting instructors from the dance group Andra Mari from Galdakao, Bizkaia.
Mikel Goitia Garay
For various reasons including the transformation of social dance in the Basque Country in recent times, these traditional variations of the Jotas and Porrusalda were nearly lost. Once far more extended throughout the Basque Country and characteristic of many a Basque festival, the scope of these versions--originally called Lehengoa ("the first one") and Bigarrena ("the second one") continued to shrink until twenty five years ago when they almost disappeared as the dancers of a previous generation passed away.
Fortunately, some folks got to work to preserve these dances. One of the groups that has committed to keep these dances alive is "Andra Mari" from Galdakao, Bizkaia. people got to work trying to preserve these dances, and they learned from various teachers and dancers including Bartolo Lasa, Patxi Bilbao, Satur Arandia, Raimunda Bizkarguenaga, etc.). Furthermore, members of this group have been more than willing to offer to others the chance to learn. We were lucky to have a couple group members here for this series of workshops.
I. Lehengoa: Jota
Step 1. "Punta pioa" This is danced more in place.
Step 2. "Hara honakoa" This has more movement from side to side
Step 3. "Baltseoa" or "kantaue." The waltz in traditional Bizkaian style is danced with the man holding his right arm out. The kantaue was a substitute step for the waltz, because there were places where local authorities frowned on young people dancing that close together in public.
II. Bigarrena: Porrusalda
Here again there is variation, and some of the Jota steps can be used here. The Baltseoa or waltz can be done but not the kantaue because it is a different rhythm.
Here too there's a differentiation between the steps in place and those that go from side to side.
Start Step Variations
Jota Steps and Transitions:
Jota Practice Set 1:
Jota Practice Set 2:
Jota Practice Set 3:
Porrusalda Steps and Transitions
Porru Practice Set 1:
Porru Practice Set 2:
Porru Practice Set 3:
Porru Practice Set 4:
Female dance instructor Iraitz Barandiaran Irazabal here dancing with Kepa Artetxe (who was instrumental in researching and keeping these dances alive).
Workshop in Chino, California
Warming up for workshop in Boise
Workshop in Homedale, Idaho
Instructors with hosts in Utah