Makila txikiena
Makila handiena
Uztai txikiena
Uztai handiena
Doinu zaharrak
Punta motz
Ehun eta bikoa

The brokel-dantza is a cycle of dances performed consecutively by 9 or 3 members of a dance group.  The dantzaris (dancers)   stand in two rows, headed by their “captain” or leader.  The dantzaris perform some of the dances of the cycle empty-handed.  They change positions and even sometimes change the structure of the layout and perform other dances clutching an implement, which they use to bang together.  The leader has a baton of authority similar to the one held by the “drum major” of the drum procession.

The number of dances in the brokel-dantza has changed over the years. Our version includes the following:

  • Boastitzea (Promenade)
  • Agurra edo erreberentzia (Dance of Greeting)
  • Makila txikiena (Dance of the Small Sticks)
  • Brokel-makilena (Buckler Dance)
  • Makila handiena (Dance of the Long Sticks)
  • Belauntxingoa (Wassail)
  • Uztai txikiena (Dance of the Small Arches)
  • Uztai handiena (Dance of the Long Arches)
  • Zinta-dantza (Ribbon Dance)

The ezpata-dantza, the jorrai-dantza and the San Juan dance, or pordoi-dantza, have often been danced with this group of Guipuzcoa dances, although they are also performed outside the context of the brokel-dantza. Given that Juan Ignacio Iztueta refers to them separately to the brokel-dantza, we have opted not to include them in this group.

Angel Murua believes that the characteristics of the brokel-danza allow it to be included in the "troqueo dance" category ("trokeo-dantzak"). “Troqueo” describes the act of the dancers changing positions and therefore dances where the dancers change positions is considered to be a troqueo dance. According to Murua, apart from the brokel-dantza,  the Antzuola Trokeo-dantza, the Lizartza Carnival dances, the Amezketa  Txantxoak, the Abaltzisketa Txantxoak, the  San Juan de Berasategi dances and the  Corpus de Oñate dances belong to the troqueo dance category.

In three of the dances that we have included in this brokel-dantza cycle, the dantzaris dance emptied handed, except for the captain or leader, who carries the baton of authority. In the rest of the dances, the dantzaris perform their moves wielding small sticks, long sticks, buckler shields (small shields) and long sticks, small and long arches.  They also use a maypole with coloured ribbons handing from the top. With the exception of the long  arch dances, the other five dances have the same structure and the dancers bang together the implements they are brandishing.

The five dances where the dantzaris bang together their implements have the following structure: first of all, the captain or leader of the group dances the zortzio, performing the characteristic combinations of steps of the Guipuzcoa dances and  adding the variations and moves that allow him to show off his skill.  Once the leader has finished his performance, the group dances a zortziko during which the dantzaris move, sometimes changing positions and sometimes modifying the structure of the whole group. Following the zortziko, the dantzaris perform the so-called “set” (“jokoa”), consisting of each dantzari using its implement to hit the one held by the dantzari beside him in the same row and in the next row. The dantzaris bang their implements together when they are in their own position and when they are moving.  Each dance is name after the type of implement used in it. Thus, if bucklers and long sticks are used, the dance will be the “brokel-makilena”. If the dantzaris use two small sticks, it is the "makila txikiena". If large sticks are banged together, it is the "makila handiena", etc.

The data that we have used to prepare this study on the way to perform the Guipuzcoa dances have come from two main sources: on the one hand, we have relied on written documents. In this section, the work of Juan Ignacio Iztueta, Gipuzkoako dantza gogoangarrien condaira edo historia, published in 1824, is the outstanding reference book. Of course, all the available texts that refer to these dances were naturally also used. On the other hand, following the oral tradition, we have taken advantage of the lessons and accounts that the heirs of Iztueta have passed down from generation to generation to the present. It should be pointed out that both sources of information can be traced back to one original point: Iztueta.