Founded in 1960, a
NABO member since 1984, this year the Oinkari Basque Dancers
(based in Boise, Idaho) are celebrating their 50th anniversary.
They have traveled far and wide (recently to China) to serve as
fine dance ambassadors for Basques--making us all proud.
Fifty years ago,
a young group of Basque-Americans dreamed of creating a troupe
to preserve and perform the unique dances of their ancient
heritage. They journeyed to the Basque Country in the summer of
1960 in pursuit of this dream. In the midst of the mountains
and sea coast where the Basque culture began, the young people
met a group of dancers from the town of Donostia (or San
members of the group in the Summer of 1960.
visitors accompanied the dancing group to rehearsals and
festivals that summer and the two groups became fast friends. In
the enthusiasm and dedication of this dance troupe the American
Basques saw a perfect model for their own group in the United
group has performed at many venues, including the
World's Fair in Seattle here in the early years.
Then recently the group traveled to perform in China.
between the groups, born of a common heritage and love of the
Basque tradition of dance, lead to the naming of the Basque
American "dream" group after their Basque Country friends. They
named the new group "Oinkari" (meaning one who does with his
feet, or dancer in Euskara, the Basque language).
Upon their return
the Boise Oinkari soon began rehearsals under the direction of
Albert Erquiaga and Diana Urresti, and with the expert musical
accompaniment of Jim Jausoro and Domingo Ansotegui, the
Oinkari's made their debut at the annual gathering of area
Basques, the Sheepherder's Ball, at Christmas time in 1960. The
dream at last came true.
||The group averages
dozens of performances each year, representing
themselves, their community, and all of us as
Basques--and they make us proud.
The hard work
continues and the dream endures, as the Oinkari Dancers have
become a source of pride to the Basque community as well as to
the State of Idaho. In the best tradition of folk customs, the
dances have been taught to hundreds of young Basques throughout
original musicians when the group began--and for many
years thereafter--were the late Domingo Ansotegui and
instructors from the Basque country have visited Boise and
enriched the group's traditional repertoire. Some members have
also had opportunities to travel to the Basque Country and learn
||The Oinkari present
a wide array of Basque folk dances that originated in
the Basque homeland of Euskal Herria. Here the men
are performing a series of dances from the town of
Lesaka in Nafarroa.
are not professional performers, but their respect for their
cultural heritage makes the Oinkari performances a whirl of
flying feet, snapping fingers, ancient music, and shouts of
exhortation a thrilling combination of precision and enthusiasm.
has spread to appreciative crowds in World's Fair exhibitions
throughout North America including Spokane, Seattle, New York
and Montreal. In 1973 the group visited six Western states on a
tour and traveled to perform at a folk festival in Washington
In 1985 to
celebrate the its 25th anniversary, the group made a return
voyage to the Basque Country, and again since then, where they
performed throughout the seven Basque provinces.
Basque Dancers Mission:
Through the art of traditional Basque dance, we, the
Oinkari Basque Dancers of Boise, Idaho, share our
culture with our local and global community while
continuing to preserve our unique heritage for future
Dancers continue to travel to national Basque gatherings at
various states. The group also performs dozens of times each
year for local charities, hospitals, and nursing homes. Here's
looking to another strong 50 years!
Beste 50 urte!