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A story to every dance: the role of lore in enhancing the Scottish solo dance tradition
Melin, Mats H.
While growing up, I occasionally learnt some Highland dances through my local Scottish Country Dance class in Stockholm, Sweden. I later deciphered solo dances through various textbooks, a process that taught me much about the shortcomings of written manuals as sources as compared to being taught in person. Along the way I encountered some of the stories associated with the most well-known Highland dances. At the time, I did not pay much attention as to whether there was any truth to them or not; I merely thought of them as stories being part of Scottish folklore. I started looking into this topic back in the early 1990s but writing seriously about it was put on hold until now. So, with my ethnochoreologist’s hat on, and having spent close to 25 years in Scotland and Ireland combined, working as a dance teacher, performer, choreographer, lecturer, and researcher, I finally, in 2014, decided to pursue charting these stories and asking what meaning-making function they may have had and possibly still have. In 2014, I conducted an online questionnaire with Highland dance teachers and dancers, distributed through emails and social media with ethical research approval from the University of Limerick. The number of responses was quite low, which may indicate how little importance these stories have to the current competitive Highland dancing world. However, I did get some interesting answers which, in turn, helped inform this short study on the role of lore in enhancing the Scottish solo dance tradition.
Keyword(s): Scottish solo dance tradition; stories
Publication Date:
Type: Book
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Publisher(s): Lorg -press
First Indexed: 2018-11-02 06:25:10 Last Updated: 2018-11-09 06:25:13