Music, Dance and Community: Central and Marginal Practices

Principal researcher: Grozdana Marosevic
Researchers and associates: Naila Ceribasic, Tvrtko Zebec, Ruza Bonifacic, Josko Caleta, Iva Niemcic, Irena Miholic, Mojca Piskor, Jerko Bezic, Elsie Ivancich Dunin, Svanibor Pettan, Stjepan Sremac, Dunja Rihtman – Sotrić

If there is an aspiration to supplement perceptions held to date and to deconstruct the entrenched concepts on music and dance, to enlighten their roles and meanings in people’s lives, to comprehend the ways in which they shape and reflect multiple identities, and to discover the strategies by which they support and deconstruct power systems – then music and dance have to be researched in diverse comminities, in the context of social, cultural and historical processes.The proposed project consists of three basic components.

The first relates to research of folk / folklore / traditional music and dance in Croatia, already legitimised by both professional research and the broader public. This part of the project will follow the ways by which music and dance have been positioned in the past and in contemporary times, accompanied by an examination of historical, social, political and scholarly-theoretical bases of the particular discourses. Results: the books on public practice of folk music in Croatia, on the Korcula’s Moreska, on the dances of the Island of Krk, dissertations on the traditional music style of the Island of Krk, and on the Dalmatian hinterland traditional music system.

The second component of the project consists of research into marginal and hitherto overlooked musics and dances and/or communities. Results: the books on women players of folk music instruments, the studies on popular musics and on itinerant and street musicians, papers on manufactured music instruments in the folklore context, an MA thesis on the role of women in Lastovo Carnival dance events, MA theses (in the final stage) on music ensembles from north and north-west of Croatia, and on reception of world music in Croatia. The third component relates to ongoing activities of documentation of music and dance along with the collation, preservation and publication of material. Results: dana bases, 5 thematic CDs, 2 folksong collections, an international ethnochoreological bibliography.

The research results will enable the scholarly and broad cultural public to become better acquainted with the pluralism of music and dance in diverse social communities in Croatia, both in the past and at present. Their multilayered application (folklore groups, festivals, workshops and seminars, broadcasts) will contribute to the recognition of the cultural heritage of the Croatians and the national minorities in Croatia, and enhance the growth of more tolerant interpersonal comminication.