The Kurdish Globe
By Sazan M. Mandalawi
The participation of the group in the festival was co-organized by the Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in Spain & the organizing committee of the festival. From the 19th of July until the 1st of August, six groups from Kurdistan, Venezuela, Argentina, Russia, Mexico and Spain will display their traditional music and dance customs. The festival is extremely popular in the region, as thousands of people from all over the country gather in the Basque Country every year in order to witness the wonders that folklore from various countries has to offer.
The Representative of the KRG to Spain, Mr. Daban Shadala, attended the festival as an honored guest at the performance of the Kurdish group. The Mayor of Portugalete, Mr. Mikel Torres, also attended the performance, which saw the group put on a performance along with the National Ballet of Venezuela.
The Kurdish Folkloric Music and Dance Group, Fine Art, was formed in 1999 with the aim of developing and revitalizing the cultural heritage of Kurdistan. Moreover, the group took on the role of promoting the identity of the Kurdish people to the world. The group has participated in many concerts and festivals since being formed in various countries, including; Sweden, Croatia, Spain and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, to name a few.
The group consists of 14 dancers, and 4 musicians, who perform traditional Kurdish dancing and play traditional Kurdish music. The used by the group include the famous Saz; similar to a guitar with an extended neck, the Daff; a large drum that has a series of four interlinked rings in the frame, Ney; the end blown flute and Balaban; a traditional woodwind. Their performance consists of exhibiting traditional Kurdish music and dance for roughly twenty minutes accompanied by live traditional Kurdish music.
The group took part in 8 programs across various cities in the Basque Country, such as Elgoibar, Sondica, Portugalete, & Olazti together with groups from other countries. Finally, Elai Alai have organised for the groups a class in the Basque national dance, and within the final performance, the groups will have the opportunity to show a few steps of the Basque dance to the audience.