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Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:51:53 EDT by admin, 117797 views
American Hungarian Folklore Centrum, NJ
Music/Folklore paper by Olson, Judith E. (all papers)
YouTube as Hungarian Dance Archive: Mining for Gold in a Popular Culture Source
New technology in web presentation has resulted in an explosion of availability of material that formerly could only be found in libraries. This has included projects such as the Hungarian Academy’s Film Library Database Archive of Folkdance (Néptánc Adatbázis Filmtár).
These projects have been met and matched by the efforts of amateur folk dancers and musicians developing their own libraries on the popular website, YouTube. Many take as their goal to reproduce and experience the dances and events of Hungarian villagers in Transylvania and other rural Hungarian areas during the mid-Twentieth Century and before, under the rubric of táncház.
Whereas in the late 20th century, táncház enthusiasts passed tape cassettes and files among themselves to share records of great folkdancers and musicians and learn from them, now these films are posted on the web, joined by demonstrations and lessons by teachers and interpreters. Also available are performances by contemporary dancers, musicians, and dance groups. A new category of material has emerged as well—videos created by participants to convey their personal meanings and experience of folk music and dance through content and presentation.
This paper will explore the range of material relating to Hungarian folkdance posted on YouTube, discussing the sorts of questions that can be explored though this rich source. YouTube collections offer us a way to assess contemporary creativity within a revival movement and changes in attitudes toward aspects of dance while building a picture of the significance and specific meanings within social dance in current practice.
Brief Professional Bio:
Judith E. Olson is a historical musicologist working in the area of traditional Hungarian music and dance in Romania, Hungary, and among Hungarians in the United States and Canada. She enjoys combining research of activity in Hungarian dance camps and within revival groups with analysis and discussion of dance structure, process, creativity and improvisation. Another favorite topic is the overlap of traditional and revival and constructs of authenticity among participants. She presents frequently at venues such as the International Council for Traditional Music, the International Musicological Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology and AHEA, She performs this research, and also organizes táncház, dance parties, in New York, under the auspices of the American Hungarian Folklore Centrum.