Magazine article Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music

ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe

Magazine article Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music

ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe

Article excerpt

7-10 April, 2010

Izmir, Turkey

Second Meeting Report

The second meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe was held at the Ege University's State Turkish Music Conservatory in Izmir, Turkey, from 7 to 11 April 2010.

The whole event was very well organized, hosted by the Local Organization Committee (Arzu Öztürkmen, Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin, Ilhan Ersoy, Emir Cenk Aydin, Ömer Barbaros Ünlü, Ferruh Özdinçer). Members of the Program Committee, led by the symposium co-chairs Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin (Turkey) and Velika Stoykova Serafimovska (Macedonia) were: Arzu Öztürkmen (Turkey), Dieter Christensen (USA/Germany), Iva Niemcic (Croatia), Lozanka Peycheva (Bulgaria) and Selena Rakocevic (Serbia). For five days, more than fifty scholars not only from Southeast European countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia), but also from Austria, USA, UK, Germany, Cyprus and Slovenia took part in the plenary study group sessions and effectuated fruitful intellectual interaction.

The region of Southeastern Europe and its bigger part - the Balkan Peninsula, have a very tempestuous history marked by ceaseless and intense political, social and cultural transitions, which have been and still are reflected in traditional music and dance practices. Powerful influences of the national politics ruled by the states and their institutions, the ethnic (re)identifications and differentiations, diverse role of the media, are just some of the processes which marked out the continual transitional times of this part of Europe. In the aim of exchanging regional, national and local experiences within those processes two major themes of Izmir conference were: (1) How do public presentations affect perception and practices of music and dance? Regional and national experiences, (2) Educational systems of music and dance (learning and teaching processes).

Right after the official opening ceremony, the symposium study sessions began by announcement of this year's guest of honor, dance researcher Dr. Anca Giurchescu and brief overview of her rich scholarly legacy especially to the ethnochoreology in Southeastern Europe (by Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin). Beside the notable number of the young scholars who took part in this ICTM Study group, it should be mentioned that the intellectual interaction within its second meeting was remarkable complemented by the incomparable enthusiastic impact of the "older generation" of scholars such as Anca Giurchescu, Elsie Dunin, Dieter Christensen, Timothy Rice and Speranta Radulescu. They all took part in the working sessions.

Anca Giurchescu and Speranta Radulescu analyzed the relatively new, extremely popular musical/dance phenomenon in Romania within their smoothly synchronized, comprehensive presentation titled as "Music and Dance of pan-Balkan (and Mediterranean) fusion. The case of the Romanian 'manea'." Summarizing her decades-long experience in researching traditional dance practice in Macedonia, Elsie Dunin spoke about the influence of television on the structural and contextual dimensions of the "cocek" dance in the paper "Romani dance and music programming on Macedonian national television." Trying to find connections between past and present, global and local historical and geopolitical circumstances which influenced the traditional dance/music scholarship, Dieter Christensen presented the key lecture "The ICTM and 'the Europeans': Globalism in Theory, Nationalism in research practice, and the role of the our Study Group. …

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