Dancing ethnicity: a case study of Festivalul Etnilor, Timișoara

Keywords: ,

This paper examines performances of dance and music by the various co-located ethnicities in Romanian Banat at the annual ethnicities festival in Timișoara. By considering each participating group in turn I consider both the participants, and their performances. The multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi confessional ethos of Banat is reflected in ‘mission’ statements both on the Timișoara city website and for the cultural associations for the co-located ethnicities. These reveal a two-fold purpose, to ascribe to the multi-ethnic identity that sets Banat apart from other regions of Romania, and in the case of the ethnicities to maintain their customs, traditions, music and dance. The participatory and presentational performance at the Ethnicities Festival demonstrate both of these aims as the spectators can see both performances that are specific to one ethnic identity and also view and join in dancing with others who share the complex identities that come with being a Bănăteni.

Mellish, Liz (2014). “Dancing ethnicity: a case study of Festivalul Etnilor, Timișoara.” Elsie Ivancich Dunin; Liz Mellish; Ivona Opetcheska-Tatarchevska (editors), Third Symposium of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe : Terminology and Theoretical Approaches and Crossing National Boundaries / Intercultural Communication: pages 146–154, Skopje, Macedonia: International Council for Traditional Music National Committee Macedonia. ISBN 978–608–65721–0–5.