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Additional resources for Dance and Authenticity in Israel and Palestine: Performing the Nation (Social, Economic and Political Studies of the Middle East and Asia)

Sample text

In this sense, staged folk dance ‘cites’ the norms that evoke feelings of belonging and identity (Bell 1999; Fortier 1999) and keeps a similar power as conventional folk dancing to produce community through cultural practices that are well-known and commonly shared. Folk dance as a unit of analysis in the context of dabkeh/debkah Using ‘folk dance’ as my unit of analysis in a Middle Eastern context calls for a critical comment. The concept of folk dance as developed in Western dance scholarship is intimately tied to the idea of the “Volk” as first conceptualized by the German philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder in the middle of the 18th century.

Semi-structured interviews Using the data gathered through informal conversations, participant observation and unstructured interviewing to develop interview guides, I conducted semi-structured interviews with each group. In general, these interviews were easier to administer than I had initially thought. Conducting the interviews at the end of my stay with each group, I had established personal relationships with the dancers and leaders, thus reducing difficulties of access or selection of appropriate interview partners.

See for instance (Cowan 1990; Ness 1992; Browning 1995; Savigliano 1995).      19 agenda and is mostly descriptive and celebratory. Yet a few exceptions concerning folk dance both in a Palestinian as well as an Israeli context should be mentioned. Jennifer Ladkani recently finished an interesting research project on the dancing of dabkeh among Palestinian refugees in Jordan, which she handed in as a doctoral thesis at Florida State University (Ladkani 2001).

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