‘Va dorim success, felicitare’: competition and community participation in Romanian dance festivals
Keywords: Community, Festivals, Identity
This chapter explores Romanian dancers’ participation in organized dance competitions, both within Romania and internationally, and investigates the informal competition that exists between the members of the Banat Romanian dance community. It includes three themes. The first traces a historical trajectory on the changing importance of performances of local, regional, and national identity in dance competitions. The second theme examines the challenges faced by the judges during formal dance competitions, revealing that judgments are made according to their personal backgrounds, and their desire to encourage maximum participation through making positive commentary rather than stressing the exclusivity of individual participants. The final theme explores informal competitiveness between dancers and leaders; the author proposes that this reinforces the sense of community among dancers, and that notions of formal competition and informal competitiveness coexist in the minds of both the dancers and the leaders.