Dancing ethnicity: a case study of Festivalul Etnilor, Timișoara
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.