Dancing the Balkans in the UK or a being a little Balkan in London, Manchester, Edinburgh

The UK “Balkan dance scene” is an urban based activity. Although it built on longer term connections between the UK and dances from the Balkan area, the majority of the participants were born and grew up in the “West” and have no genealogical connections to southeastern Europe. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork and the author’s long term “participating” observation, this paper investigates how this “scene” has developed over the years, individual reasons for participation, sources of repertoire and preferences for certain dance types. It proposes that the lack of shared cultural background among the participants has resulted in the creation of their own culture specifically linked to the time spent at Balkan dance events.

Mellish, Liz (2017). “Dancing the Balkans in the UK or a being a little Balkan in London, Manchester, Edinburgh.” Kendra Stepputat (editor), Dance, Senses, Urban Contexts: 29th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology July 9-16, 2016 Retzhof Castle, Styria, Austria: pages 260–270. Graz, Austria: ICTM, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. ISBN 978-3-8440-5337-7.