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Edukia • Azeri Dantza

Azeri Dantza

One of the oldest cultural traditions in Hernani

Azeri Dantza is a dance that dates back almost three centuries. In fact, the first references take us back to the carnival in 1735, which was when this dance, which mixes this art form with games, was originally performed. Nowadays, it is also performed during the Patron Saint Festivities. This is because carnival was banned during the Franco era, which led to the decision in 1941 to include this dance in the Sanjuanes programme.

Also known as Maskuri dantza, after the utensils that the dantzaris carry, it involves different characters: the Azeri or fox, which gives the dance its name, the dantzaris, who have one hand holding a rope that connects them all the time, and the spectators, who, as well as watching, also take part in the game.

This popular dance creates a game between a dozen young people carrying a rope and a maskuri, the Azeri who leads the group, and the people around them watching the dance. The dance is seen as a game because people are surprised and take part in the dance.

The action starts when the line of dantzaris, holding a rope and guided by the music, start to move among the people, go through the streets, hide in doorways and corners and, finally, surprise and trap people who they surround with the rope, hitting them with the maskuri.

So if you are caught up in the rope unexpectedly, just remember that you are in the festivities and pretend that you are another dantzari in the Azeri Dantza; a tradition that is experienced with joy by the people of Hernani.

The Azeri Dantza leaves Gudarien Plaza at 9am on the 25th, 26th and 27th of June and goes through the streets of Hernani’s old town. They also go into shops and bars that have two entrances, coming out on the other street to surprise the people there.

This dance is one of the most popular and attractive events in the San Juan festivities.

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Txartelak • Azeri Dantza