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KONTRA DANTZA:  Basque contra dances

In Basque Kontra dantza refers to Basque variations of the popular contradances.

Related links:  Lapurdi versions    Benafarroa versions   Zuberoa versions

Kontra-dantza (in English contra dance, also contradance, contra-dance and other variant spellings) are a series of Basque folk characteristic of the Iparralde or northern part of the Basque country consisting of the provinces of Lapurdi, Benafarroa and Zuberoa (as well as border areas of Nafarroa; e.g., Luzaide). There are numerous variations, some of which have now been adapted and preserved by various Basque communities as traditional dances.

Versions of these dances were popular throughout many parts of Europe.  At the end of the 17th century, English country dances were taken up by French dancers; the French called these dances contra-dance or contredanse. As time progressed, English country dances were spread and reinterpreted throughout the Western world, and eventually the French form of the name came to be associated with the dances.

Rodney Gallop declared that Basques are a living museum in the sense that they keep many traditions longer than their neighbors.  Such is the case with these dances.  Whereas not Basque in origin, they have become Basque by adoption. 

The provincial variations include:
Lapurdi versions
   Benafarroa versions   Zuberoa versions