Dance transmission in contemporary Romania: Continuity, motivation and mentors


This paper explores the transmission of local dance knowledge in contemporary Romania by focussing on ‘motivation’ and ‘continuity’ as key parameters. We examine the methods currently used by dancers to acquire their local dance knowledge; the dance experience of the teachers and mentors who transmit this knowledge; and the situations during which Romanian dancing takes place. We question whether skills acquired during formal training and informal participation work in parallel to produce the required competencies needed for local participatory and presentational dancing. Theoretically, we will draw on the works of Lave and Wenger on ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ and ‘communities of practice’, and Ingold who saw apprenticeship as a learning process through ‘guided rediscovery’. Following Giurchescu, we conclude that Romanian local dance knowledge continues to be acquired through “a combined process of observation, imitation, deliberate learning and training” which enables novice dancers to participate in dancing during both social and performative contexts.

Mellish, Liz, and Nick Green (2022). “Dance transmission in contemporary Romania: Continuity, motivation and mentors.” Anne von Bibra Wharton and Dalia Urbanavičienė (editors), Dance and economy, dance transmission : Proceedings of the 31st Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology 12-18 July, 2021, Klaipėda, Lithuania, 216–224. Vilnius, Lithuania: ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.