- The dangers of dancing: foreign vs. folk dances and the politics of culture in the Netherlands, 1918-1955
- Ethnologia Europaea
- Volume | Issue number
- 38 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article deals with cultural confrontations and ideological contestations concerning the perception and reception of foreign 'modern' and domestic folk dances in the Netherlands between 1918 and 1955. Many contemporary intellectuals were cultural pessimists who regretted the demise of 'organic' ties between people. They idealized rural 'folk culture', and criticized the 'cosmopolitan' culture they ascribed to urbanites. They launched civilizing missions with respect to performing foreign dances, while presenting 'traditional' folk dances as a socio-culturally beneficial alternative. However, folk dances also proved to be a site of contention and conflict, particularly concerning their 'authenticity' and practical use.
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