Folk dance and dance events in rural Newfoundland

Quigley, Colin Harding (1981) Folk dance and dance events in rural Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis is an ethnography of folk dance in Newfoundland based on a holistic view of dance behavior in culture. Descriptions of dance movements and their performance contexts are presented. Research was conducted in archives, through interviews with informants, and by means of observation in the field. Detailed study in several communities around Plate Cove East, Bonavista Bay, has served as a standard for comparison among these sources. -- The dances are classed as group, individual, or couple in organization. Informants' descriptions of dances are used to identify significant aspects of movement articulation within this tradition. Examples of each dance type are described, and one, a square dance, is transcribed from a videotape recording. The transscribed performance is compared with other notated variants. A repertoire of basic movement possibilities and structural movement units is identified, and a common structural framework among the different versions is deduced. -- The dance event contexts are described in detail, with "house times" and "hall times" identified as the two major types. Informants' descriptions of dance events illustrate the variety of actual practice. The expression of sexuality, rivalry, and integrative goals are found recurrently in many aspects of the behavior typical at dance events. -- The dance movements are interpreted as enactments of the same concerns which permeate their performance contexts. The means by which the Newfoundland folk dances embody functions, social relations, and cultural values are identified using the concepts of proxemics and theories of dance communication. -- The many changes in Newfoundland dance culture since the Second World War -- often perceived as the product of abrupt abandonment of older forms -- are examined as a reorientation of the expressive role of dance in response to shifting social emphases within the dance events. The use of older forms in new contexts is discussed as part of Newfoundland's "cultural revival."

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6955
Item ID: 6955
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 379-393.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1981
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Folk dancing--Newfoundland and Labrador; Folk dance music--Newfoundland and Labrador; Square dancing; Newfoundland and Labrador--Social life and customs

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