Public presentations, regional perceptions and dance learning processes in 21st century Romanian Banat

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In this paper the authors look at the ways in which the visibility of contemporary public presentations of music and dance in Romanian Banat provide a mechanism to reinforce local identity, and have led to a renewed interest by locals to participate on such occasions. In this region Banat music, dance and song are regularly included in the programmes of local events. Some of these events are specifically organised folklore events but on occasions such as Ruga (saint’s day),1 wine festivals and family celebrations, folklore presentations form part of the overall programme. These events are covered in regional media and on local and national television and radio, both as part of news reports and in especially dedicated programmes. The public can consume these events either ‘live’, through being among the audience or by watching television or videos on websites including one of the many YouTube channels dedicated specifically to Banat folk music, song and dance. The authors argue that, in order to sustain an interest in local folklore, these public presentations have to be in a form that is both modern and nostalgic, and that, the visibility of such events in Banat accounts for an increased enthusiasm for locals to join in with the social dancing that takes place at many celebrations and festivals and has encouraged many parents take their children to learn to dance, sing or play a folk instrument, and even attend dance classes themselves to learn local dances.

Mellish, Liz; Green, Nick (2011). “Public presentations, regional perceptions and dance learning processes in 21st century Romanian Banat.” Elsie Ivancich Dunin; Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin (editors), Proceedings of the Second Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe:53–58. İzmir, Turkey: Ege University State Turkish Music Conservatory. ISBN 978–975–483–882–4.