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  • Aukeran: "Arin Geltokia"

    Sheltering from the hot sun at the Frontoia on the National Mall, the Aukeran Dance Company graced the Arts and Industries stage at the 2016 Folklife Festival. In this particular piece, the music—a string quartet with a solo violin playing a repetitive motif called “Arin”—leads the dancers through modern choreography.

    As if marionettes come to life, the dancers’ hands and ankles move of their own accord to the melody of the lilting violin. Their eyes look in astonishment, seeing the movement of their ankles, hands that knock their heads back. Each looks around to see if they are the only one. Is this happening to everyone?

    Their modern movements transition into a traditional Basque dance, with arms upraised and quick footwork. The music changes too, from a minor melody with sliding notes to a more classic dance rhythm accompanied by drones. The dancers respond in kind, now in control of their movements.

    Aukeran is a professional Basque dance troupe founded in 1997 on the initiative of Edu Muruamendiaraz. The beautiful and graceful professional dancers have backgrounds in both Basque traditional and contemporary dance. Aukeran is known for mixing blending styles, innovating new choreography.

    Camera: Ann Saul, Lillian Schneyer
    Editor: Ryan Shank
    Text: SarahVictoria Rosemann

    See an interview with Aukeran founder and dancers.

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