OHIBERRITZE Tradition and creation in the Basque Country

Pastorale Jean Pitrau, Maurice Ravel, Ramon Lazkano, Songs and Souletine dances


In Basque, ohi conjures up the notion of perpetual movement and berritze implies the idea of rebirth. Ohiberritze is perpetual rebirth. Pastorales, from the upper Pyrenean valleys of Soule, have been performed there for centuries. They are theatrical performances in the Basque language. They are rituals of pure beauty that move to the beat of the makila stick, born of the confrontation between divine, satanic and human worlds. Each year a different township is given the task of performing a pastorale, and 2016 sees that honour bestowed upon the south Soule village of Tardets-Sorholus. It depicts the life of Jean Pitrau (1929-1975), charismatic personality from the village and one of the founding fathers of European agricultural syndicate. The evening’s performance in four part opens to an hour of excerpts from the Jean Pitrau Pastorala.
Part two, Maurice Ravel: Trio Dali performs the Trio, a piece constructed around the zortziko rhythms that are emblematic of the Basque music that influenced Ravel, who grew up in Ciboure and learned Basque from his mother.
Following that is a selection of excerpts from Ramon Lazkano’s opera in progress Ravel (Scènes). The opera draws on the novel by Jean Echenoz, Ravel, in which “[the author] uses few words and a hastened sense of time to narrate the last ten years of Ravel’s life – his descent into aphasia and ultimate loss of identity” (Ramon Lazkano).
Titika Rekalt will then tells a story he wrote in Souletine dialect which leads into the final sequence – a group of young dancers and singers will take to the stage to reinvent the movements that make up today’s living traditions: Ohiberritze