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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 46 | volume IX | January-February, 2006



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 46January-February, 2006
Theatre Theory

Interculturalism in Dance

p. 1
Sonja Zdravkova-Džeparoska

Initial considerations
    Interculturalism in the theatre involves or, more precisely, is equal to interculturalism in dramatic expression. The research carried out by Barba, Turner and Schechner perhaps encompasses different genre forms of the theatre of the East which is characterized by syncretism, but it definitely does not concern European dance. In his study Anthropology of the Theatre, Franco Ruffini writes: “Eugenio Barba, director and founder of the Odin Theatre, focuses his exploration on the identification and formulation of theatre studies and the study of acting, which he himself calls ‘anthropology of the theatre’” (Ruffini, 1998:86). Although Grotowski at some points came close to and used certain dance, i.e., movement techniques (the Dalcroze method), he nevertheless placed the stress on the definition of acting. As he himself said, “I believe that the actor’s personal and stage technique is the core of theatrical art” (Grotowski, 1976:15). Richard Schechner came closest to and tried to follow modern American dance production due to his personal circumstances but he, too, remained within the framework of dramatic performance. However, theatre and theatrology are certainly not limited to their perhaps most dominant form of expression, the drama, but also include all forms of stage performance. The object of this text is to shift/revise at least to some extent the stereotypical position by demonstrating that ballet, that is, modern dance, has also dealt with culturalism, i.e., with various aesthetic and kinesthetic codes.
    It is not our intention to analyze the general rules defined by Barba, who demonstrated that different forms of performance manifest shared regularities. In our examination of dance we would like to discover and explicate the basic ways in which the dance theatre of a particular cultural system (in this case, the Euro-American) approaches the different types of performance of other cultural systems (Asian, African). The manner of integration of this type of material (which consists of different dance forms) into ballet and the approach to it have not been studied in detail, but it is evident that this tendency in European ballet continues. In ballet, the belief that one’s own system of expression should be confronted with a dance concept that is dissimilar/different as the result of a different socio-geographic, religious and cultural context has a long-standing tradition.
    Such tendencies towards integration have been present for centuries and go as far back as the 17th century. In the beginning, it was the need for and fascination with the

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