Accepted Paper:

Dance: tradition and/or heritage?  

Author:

Mats Nilsson (University of Gothenburg)

Paper short abstract:

In the recent past, the concept of “tradition” has been challenged especially by the emerging notion of “intangible cultural heritage”. Drawing on the case of different forms of dance in Sweden, I will problematize this shift in concepts and explore the historical and ideological contexts in which these occurred.

Paper long abstract:

“Tradition” is a concept that has been foundational for the field of folklore studies. In the recent past, the concept has been challenged by various emerging notions, most prominently that of “intangible cultural heritage”. Drawing on the case of different forms of dance in Sweden, and here specifically gender attributions, I will problematize this shift in concepts and explore the historical and ideological contexts in which these occurred. Through the confrontation of categories such as “folk dance”, “popular dance”, “vernacular dance” and “old time dance”, I will investigate how such categories are invented and institutionalised, and which criteria and forms of presentational or participatory thinking they are based upon. Key questions explore how and when “traditional dances” become heritage, or conversely are no longer considered “traditional”.

Panel Heri004
From folklore to intangible heritage