Dance Ethnography and Multiple Identities

Principal researcher: Tvrtko Zebec
Researchers and associates: Sanja Anđus L’Hotellier (Institut mémoires de l’édition contemporaine, Paris), Elsie Ivancich Dunin, Ivana Katarinčić, Rebeka Kunej (Glasbenonarodopisni inštitut ZRC SAZU, Slovenija), Irena MiholićIva Niemčić, Svanibor Pettan (Filozofska fakulteta Univerze u Ljubljani, Slovenija), Stjepan Sremac

Dance and music, and their inseparable role and significance in people’s lives are being researched in diverse communities in the context of social processes. In the interpretation of multiple identities and the strategies applied in this respect, research is conducted through linking of the diachronic and synchronic discourses, the permeation of rural and urban traditions, global influences and local adaptations, the role of gender, and changes in aesthetics. The changes in traditions as a consequence of war and migration are also monitored, both in Croatia and among its emigrants. The influences on national frameworks of tradition are followed in the context of the flow of cultural ideas in the contemporary world. Dance ethnography is developing as an independent discipline, open to the implementation of diverse methods and approaches in ethnology, anthropology and related cultural studies. The reflexivity of the researcher imposes critical querying of the researcher / researchee relationship, and the possibilities for applying interpretations in the field and in society generally. Along with the tanac and drmeš dances and the 19th century round dances of Central European origins, the kolo – circle-dance is monitored in diverse geomorphologic and cultural environments as a symbol of regional and local identity. The tambura is regarded as a symbol of national identity and also as a bond linking the music world of diverse cultures. Research will be done on the role of that particular chordophone instrument, and others, in tradition and in contemporary times. With development in the European context, ballet and other forms of artistic dance have attained the characteristics of national traditions and become the subject of ethnochoreological research. We anticipate the defence of three dissertations, the publication of scholarly studies, a university handbook, thematic CDs, ethnomusicological collection and an international bibliography, as well as participation at scholarly conferences at home and abroad, and the compilation of an international database and the organisation of an international conference. The results will be verified in the CROSBI-Croatian scholarly bibliography and be applied in university and school lectures, the organisation of folklore festivals, popularisation in the media and the promotion of cultural tourism, with prominence given to the specificities of local traditional values useful in promoting sustainable regional development.