Back to Basque! An Appeal for Help and Photos

I promised that my next post would be about the sword dance during the festival of San Sebastian in Villanueva, but I wanted to ask you all for information. Yesterday I took the bus from Madrid, where I had spent the night in The Living Roof Hostel, to Bilbao where I was picked up by my old friend Oier who was teaching a class in the city. We had a funny moment in the bus station where both of us had gotten haircuts and neither recognized the other!

We drove back to Eibar and filled each other in on our lives. It turned out that yet again I have stumbled into a great time to visit Basque country. Due to going to a carnival in Italy later in the month, they pushed up the date of their own festival to next week! My accidental timing is impeccable yet again! The bad news is that the government is withdrawing their funding from the office due to the crisis in Europe. Man, this is what really gets me angry about all those bankers gambling with other people’s money! Not only does it hurt individuals, but it ends up hurting arts institutions like this one that are responsible for documenting, teaching, promoting and celebrating traditional culture.

Oier and the others in the office have decided to spend a few unpaid months looking for new funding, but it looks like the end at the moment. If anyone has any ideas where a organization promoting Basque dance might find funding in this economy, please let us know! It would be very appreciated!

Also appreciated would be anyone who attended the 2008 Sword Spectacular in York who has pictures or videos of Kezka, the Basque group who performed there. For some unknown reason, the official video of the event failed to include any footage of the team and their own video was destroyed by computer failure. They are deperately looking for anyone who might have records of their performance, so please ask your friends and colleuges who where there to check it out.

They are easy to identify as they have more dancers than anyone else and are dressed in white with red trimmings. Please send anything you might have my way ( and I will pass it on.

Goals this time in Basque country:

Learn some Basque song and dance:

Learn some Basque language (and it’s tricky!)

Go to more festivals!

Jeremy over and out.


About Jeremy Carter-Gordon

My blog of a year studying point-and-hilt sword dancing on a Watson Fellowship. Enjoy reading, tell me your thoughts and leave me a comment, or visit my website at
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