Papers of BAS, Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 1, No 1, 2014

ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

IDENTITIES IN MOTION – 60 YEARS BULGARIAN DANCES

WITHIN DIFFERENT POLITICAL CONTEXTS

Gergana Panova-Tekath

Abstract: The Report reviews interpretations of identical dance material in different historic-political contexts in Bulgaria, and in countries in the West (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada and the USA). The international cultural relationships of Bulgaria are pointed out in the course of the review and the role of North America for the approbation of a “chain” for the dissemination of the Bulgarian traditional dances in the last 60 years is presented. On a macro-level the interpretive spiral of the so called “Dancing the Bulgarian Way” originates in Socialist Bulgaria, reaches North America, from there spreads on to Western Europe, reenters democratic Bulgaria and again returns to the West with the new Bulgarian emigrants. The different models of dancing defined hereunder allow for the comparative study of Societies. At the same time, the ample empirical material serves for the situational analysis of the body’s potential for the unraveling of old and the creation of new meanings. Thus “dancing the Bulgarian way” has been transformed into an optical lens of modernity and an example of nonverbal intra- and inter-cultural communication.

Key words: “Dancing the Bulgarian way” in different political contexts, Bulgaria – North America – German speaking countries, “circle dance” and choreography, national identity, intra- and inter-cultural communication through dance