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FRANCE'S BASQUE BALLET TROUPE WILL TROOP TO UTAH THIS WEEK

Oldarra, les Ballets Basques de Biarritz, an internationally known Basque folk ballet company from France, will bring its unique style of dance to the Mountain West for the first time. The troupe has concerts scheduled in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming through March 14.

Utah appearances this week will be at Mountain View High School in Orem, Tuesday, March 3, at 8 p.m., tickets $3 and $1; Thursday, March 5, at Hunter High School in West Valley City, with a lecture demonstration at 3:30 p.m. and performance at 7:30 p.m., tickets $4; and Saturday, March 7, in Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City, at 8 p.m., tickets $8, $5 students.Oldarra has already appeared in Carson City and Elko, Nev., and has concerts scheduled at Boise State University on March 10, South Sevier High School in Richfield on March 12 and Rock Springs (Wyoming) High School on March 14.

Heralded as "one of the best folk dance companies of the world," Ballet Oldarra is the premier folklore ballet of the Basque country. When war with Spain forced thousands of Basques to go into France, they took with them a treasure of songs and dances of their country, according to troupe director and choreographer Koldo Zabala, "a very Basque way of reacting to adversity."

From this humble beginning, Oldarra has transformed itself into an art group, staging the dances, customs and legends of Basque folklore in the style of traditional dance, classical and contemporary ballet.

Oldarra has performed throughout Europe, North Africa, Canada and the United States, having appeared in New York's Carnegie Hall, Chicago and Denver on previous tours.

The company is sponsored here by Clog America, the Basque Club of Utah and Eastern Arts.