Society: Cultural associations
In July, precisely the DAY OF EUSKERA, we will celebrate 5 years of our first performance. Our village, Villabuena de Alava, has among its traditions a series of dances with very typical sticks: “the paloteaos of Villabuena”. For many years the last group of dances in the village had disappeared (about 30 years) and we decided to recover them because we thought it very important to keep them.
We created a group of dances with very young people in general (between 15 and 30 years plus some exception) and we got to work. We have recovered 8 paloteaos, dances of Rioja Alavesa, and we are learning dances of all Euskalerria. We have in our repertoire also a few paloteaos of Catalonia and choreographies of the group.
We dance at the fiestas of San Torcuato (May 15) and San Andres (November 30) in addition to the day of Sta Ageda and the day of Euskera (in which this year we will celebrate our 5th anniversary). We also dance the day of the dantzari of Rioja Alavesa and in several towns of the zone of Alava, of Bizkaia and of Gipuzkoa.
The most authentic example of typical dance of the town are the Paloteados of which we have the following documentation.
They dance during the patron saint festivities of San Torcuato, on May 15 and San Andres on November 30. They are called paloteaos, because the dances are executed with a stick or two, depending on the dance, of about 40 cm. Long, stick that the waiters usually carry boxwood, because being this a hard wood to hit sound strong and dry.
As in other parts of the Rioja Alavesa, the vehicle of transmission of the dance, have been many times the bagpipers, but in the case of Villabuena, they have special importance. The existence in the antiquity, of pipers in the Town, that also touched in the ones of around, makes that musically speaking, in spite of being one of the smaller towns of the zone, has influenced much in the others.
Many and very good have been the bagpipers of Rioja Alavesa, but to speak of Villabuena is to speak of Piper Perfecto Gil who comes to recognize up to 13 melodies corresponding to paloteados and is thought, that served as a gift to the illustrious visitors of Villabuena or accompaniment of the procession. At present we know the choreography of 8 paloteaos:
“I saw you, I saw you, I saw you
With spoons leaving home
I saw you, I saw you, I saw you
With the house spoons coming out”
The wardrobe is similar to that of the entire area of Rioja Alavesa: white shirt and trousers, white espadrilles with red ribbons, red neck scarf, red scarf, colored print, a brightly colored scarf tied to the head and two Strips of color, usually red and blue, crossed on the chest.
La Castañuela, is different from the rest of the paloteaos, because in addition to the stick that is carried in the right hand, on the left in this dance is carried a castanet.
Founded in July 2004, it is a mixed association that is dedicated to various events such as the preparation of carnivals, the dinner of San Roque in the town square, workshops of natural decoration, with plants useful for home remedies, talks for a correct nutrition , Videoforums, and various excursions.
It is an association created in order to encourage the use of Euskera in the area. They carry out cultural and recreational activities in the vicinity of the town always with the purpose of promoting the use of Basque. The following activity is an example.