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.
folk dance, cultural pessimism, the Netherlands, popular dance, culture politics
How to Cite
van Ginkel, R., (2008) “The Dangers of Dancing.”, Ethnologia Europaea 38(2), 45-65. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1040
- This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.