Mercedes Mendive
Musician  / Musikaria  / Músico

The Ariñak Project

Orri hau euskaraz ere itzuli da laster. Begiratu berriro laster.

When I returned to Elko in 2015, I came with a tremendous sense of enthusiasm to teach the fundamentals of the Basque culture that would take us beyond Basque dancing alone. I wanted our dancers and even our club members to learn new aspects of what the Basque culture encompasses. With the help of co-founder, Janet Iribarne, we have formed the Ariñak Project. This endeavor was developed to teach important elements of music, including pandero (tambourine), accordion, txistu, alboka, txalaparta, singing, Mus as well as introducing our kids/members to the Basque language and Basque sports. It's our goal to incrementally start our participants on a cultural journey that will stay with them for a lifetime.
                The Ariñak Project will be hosting various talents as often as possible. This is a unique opportunity, especially for our dancers to learn from experienced dance instructors and musicians with unique musical talents. During a typical udaleku (camp) day, the participants are given an introduction to the Basque language (which will advance as our participants advance). We also have our seasoned basque dancers mentor the younger dancers, teaching them fundamentals as well as group dances that they have not been exposed to before.  We have also begun teaching pandero (tambourine) lessons which teaches our participants rhythms that are essential to the music! We have recently added Txistu to our Sunday udaleku (lessons facilitated by Janet Iribarne) and accordion classes (taught by Mercedes).  We then work with our seasoned dancers for a regular weekly practice and focus on technical footwork as well as new dances which is a collaborative effort giving each dance their own creative touch.
                  Over time we are looking forward to adding new elements to the Ariñak Project, elements which we think will give each one of our participants greater knowledge of the instruments we play, the songs that we sing and the dances we perform and co-create. Look for future performances featuring dancers from the Ariñak Project!

Euskera lessons with Fernando Lejardi and Anita Anacabe-Franzoia