The soka-dantza is a dance that the dantzaris perform by joining their hands and forming a line or chain. The line of dantzaris form an open circle in the square and the dantzaris located at both ends of the chain lead the dance, in other words, the aurresku
Starting from that basic choreographic structure, numerous common elements are observed in the tradition of the Guipuzkoan soka-dantza
. Depending on the town or neighbourhood, the number of participating dantzaris and the type of celebration, the soka-dantza
will be interpreted in one way or another, even though it always respects a basic choreographic structure and the common elements to all the parts are repeated. In fact, the soka-dantza
has nearly as many names as versions: soka-dantza
(and its version, the dantza-soka), esku-dantza, gizon-dantza, aurresku, karrika-dantza
to name just a few.
As the result of the different versions typical of each place and time, all the Gipuzkoa soka-dantzas
have specific characteristics, even though all the versions have the same structure. We are here performing the soka-dantza
that is danced in Elgoibar on August 24th. Taking that soka-dantza
as an example, we can note the main characteristics of that dance, even though we should not forget that the Gipuzko soka-dantzas have numerous local versions.
Over 40 soka-dantzas are danced in Gipuzko during the year. The soka-dantza is danced at least once a year in the following towns and districts: Abaltzisketa, Andoain, Antzuola, Arama, Aretxabaleta, Arrasate, Azpeitia, Beasain, Bergara, Berastegi, Billabona, Amasa, Deba, Itziar, Lastur, Donostia, Añorga, Zubieta, Eibar, Eibar, Elgeta, Elgoibar, Errenteria, Ibarra, Irura, Lasarte-Oria, Lazkao, Legazpia, Legorreta, Lizartza, Oiartzun, Olaberria, Oñati, Ordizia, Tolosa, Usurbil, Zegama, Zarautz and Zumarraga.