International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Authenticity and Greek Traditional Dance: An Ethnographic Approach
Niki Niora, Maria I. Koutsouba, Vasiliki Lalioti, Vasiliki Tyrovola

The Greek traditional dance workshops are a folklore phenomenon, within the context of which “authentic” dance forms of local traditions are presented. The aim of this paper is to study Greek traditional dance within a long-lasting annual dance workshop that takes place in Greece under the auspice of the cultural association “En Choro”. The central focus of this paper is the concept of “authenticity,” and the way it is perceived by the organisers, originators, instructors, and participants. For this purpose, ethnographic research was employed in its application to the dance research. In order to analyse, elaborate, and interpret ethnographic data related to the concept of “authenticity” of the Greek traditional dance, this study provides a comparative analysis of the gathered qualitative data and informants‟ views. The guiding theoretical framework of this research was rooted in the prevalent views in the literature regarding folklore, folklorism, tradition, and authenticity. This study has found that, regardless of a widely accepted belief that the workshop represents the “authentic” transmission of the traditional dance, it actually represents the creation of a new “space”. Within the context of this space, the “aim can‟t be authenticity in itself” (Liavas, 2013), since the traditional dance as an intangible product turns into a product of management, creating new dancing performances through the night festivities and the teacher-centred teachings.

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