Arkaitz Añorgako Dantzariak
Añorga Hiribidea
Donostia, Gipuzkoa
Euskal Herria

Arkaitz Añorgako Dantzariak, known simply as Arkaitz, is a prominent Basque dance group with deep roots in the traditions of Gipuzkoa. The Añorga dance tradition began in 1926 when Jose Lorenzo Pujana was hired by the Rezola factory to teach dance to local youth. Pujana, trained by Jose Antonio Olano and influenced by Juan Inazio Iztueta, passed down the intricate steps, melodies, and choreography of Basque dance through generations, a practice that continued even after the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

In the 1970s, Josema Mendiola from Añorga took over as the master of the Añorga dance group. Many Añorga dancers joined the Argia group in Donostia under the direction of choreographer Juan Antonio Urbeltz, contributing to a cultural renaissance during that period.

Arkaitz adopted its current structure in the 1980s, creating a dance school for children and an adult group that performed traditional Basque dances. These performances strengthened the Añorga community and showcased its unique cultural identity through a living tradition.

In 2009, the Añorga Dancers revived the traditional Sword dance and the Brokel dance, adapted to modern times. These dances are performed annually on Karmen Day, July 16th in Añorga, and on August 15th in Constitution Square, Donostia. Through these dances, Arkaitz significantly contributes to the cultural heritage of the Basque Country, serving as a benchmark for Gipuzkoa’s dances.

Arkaitz is not just a dance group but a vibrant embodiment of Basque cultural heritage, ensuring that the traditional dances of Gipuzkoa continue to thrive and inspire new generations.

2017 local story from 25 Geltokia local news outlet celebrating Arkatiz’ 90th anniversary.