Basque art at the Edinburgh Book Festival and Festival Fringe

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2019-07-17

In August, Basque performers and companies will showcase theatre and traditional and contemporary dance at the Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. In parallel to the Fringe, several Basque writers will present their work from August 10 to 18 and take part in literary events at the Edinburgh International Book festival. These two initiatives are part of the summer season of the #ScotlandGoesBasque project being developed this year in Scotland.

In August, Basque performers and companies will showcase theatre and traditional and contemporary dance at the Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. In parallel to the Fringe, several Basque writers will present their work from August 10 to 18 and take part in literary events at the Edinburgh International Book festival. These two initiatives are part of the summer season of the #ScotlandGoesBasque project being developed this year in Scotland.

The Etxepare Basque Institute has been working throughout the year to introduce Basque creative talent to Scottish audiences through the #ScotlandGoesBasque programme. In the winter it was music, in the spring, cinema and, now, in the summer, it’s time to raise the profile of the performing arts and Basque literature at two of Scotland’s most important festivals: Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Fringe: traditional and contemporary Basque theater and dance

Basque artists will take part in different sections and types of projects at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Dance Base, Scotland´s National Centre for Dance, has organized a section called Basque Showcase, featuring contemporary Basque dance. From August 8 to 11, Dance Base will showcase the work of the companies selected by the Fringe management from among those who responded to the call by the Etxepare Basque Institute. The three companies, Krego-Martin Danza, Akira Yoshida and Proyecto Colectivo HQPC, have adapted their shows, (Non) Comfort Zone, Home and Habrá Que Ponerse Cachas, respectively, exclusively for the festival.

On August 9, the Fringe will be the ideal platform to present Atlantik 1050, a project which brings together traditional Basque and Scottish dance. Still in the development stage, the project will bring together a Basque dance group and a Scottish dance group, combining traditions in a single show. Atlantik 1050 will premiere at the Fringe in August and then be performed in the Basque Country at the Atlantikaldia festival in Errenteria on September 22.

Another company to perform at this gathering of street art is Tio Teronen Semeak. From August 7 to 11 the group will perform FreshCool, a blend of humour, dance and music. Finally, the Bilbao-based international theater company 2Theatre will present Interbeing: Stories From a Current War at the Ballroom of Edinburgh´s Assembly Rooms from August 1 to 25. The show combines video, performance art and theatre to talk about the current confrontation in Ukraine.

Basque literature at the Edinburgh Book Festival

Basque literature will be a special guest at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, held this year from August 10 to 26. Basque authors will take the stage from the 10th and 18th. Iban Zaldua, Harkaitz Cano, Miren Agur Meabe, Uxue Alberdi, Bernardo Atxaga, Eider Rodríguez and Danele Sarriugarte will be joined by the musicians Joseba Etxegoien and Eñaut Elorrieta.

On August 10, author Iban Zaldua will present the results of the Chejov vs. Shakespeare project, along with his partner in the initiative, the Scottish writer James Robertson. The project, which took root during the Cultural Capital of Donostia / San Sebastián 2016, called for two authors of different origins to exchange letters about various topics. That is precisely what Zalsua and Robeston have done this year. The two writers have exchanged 12 letters, six each, discussing topics such as literature, language or the current challenges and conflicts in Europe.

The other authors will take part in several themed sections organized by the book festival: Harkaitz Cano will take part in a conversation with the Nigerian poet Jumoke Verissino, and will be joined by poet Danele Sarriugarte and musician Joseba Etxegoien to offer songs and spoken word in the Wine and Words section; Miren Agur Meabe will join American writer Zinzi Clemmons in the Living, Loving and Loss section; Uxue Alberdi will participate in the Indigenous Voices themed section and will offer a bertsolarismo performance in an activity called Scotland Goes Bertsolaritza! along with Danele Sarriugarte and Eñaut Elorrieta. Bernardo Atxaga will also take the floor in Indigenous Voices, joined by the translator of some of his novels, Margaret Jull Costa; and Eider Rodríguez will offer a workshop in translation together with Jull Costa.

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