What memory of the bombing of Guernica today? The basque collective Bilaka commemorates this tragedy with the creation of Gernika by Martin Harriague. With live music, between tradition and modernity, present and past, Gernika brings together Basque dancers and musicians to give a new vision of this significant episode in the history of the Basque Country, which still resonates sadly in our time.

The relentless destruction of Guernica in 1937 by the Franco regime brought the name of this Spanish Basque town into a regrettable modernity. It now embodies the military massacre of innocent civilians, a phenomenon that has continued from the previous century to the present day. If choreographer Martin Harriague, born in Bayonne, does not hide in his piece a tribute to the eponymous painting by Picasso, he creates with Gernika a completely different artistic material. Above all, he leads the five dancers of the Bilaka collective towards an impressive physical requirement, by linking the steps and figures specific to traditional Basque dance to the modernity of his movement. For this creation, Martin Harriague has collaborated with the two musicians of the Bilaka collective, Xabi Etcheverry and Patxi Amulet, and the artist of the ensemble 0 Stéphane Garin, for a music of repetitive spirit whose rhythm takes the audience towards emotional landscapes of great intensity. The choreographer surprises us by imposing the desire for a smile within the tragedy, in order to invite us to believe in humanity and peace.

creation for Bilaka, France – 5 dancers, 3 musicians

Date January 2022
Length 60 minutes

Choreography & scenography Martin Harriague
Music Xabi Etcheverry, Patxi Amulet, Stéphane Garin
Lights Martin Harriague
Costumes Martin Harriague & Vanessa Ohl
Costume maker Vanessa Ohl
Set & prop makers Annie Onchalo, Frédéric Vadé, Gilles Muller
Sound engineer Maxime Truccolo

Production Scène nationale du Sud-Aquitain Avec le soutien de OARA – Office Artistique de la Région Aquitaine
Coproduction CCN Malandain Ballet Biarritz – Pôle de Coopération Territorial | Le Parvis, Scène nationale de Tarbes | Théâtre des Quatre Saisons – Scène conventionnée de Gradignan