Plurality in Motion: Dance and Cultural Identity on the Greek Ionian Island of Lefkada

Koutsouba, Maria. 1997. Plurality in Motion: Dance and Cultural Identity on the Greek Ionian Island of Lefkada. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The thesis concerns the issue of dance and cultural identity on the Ionian island of Lefkada. Dance is treated as a sociocultural product which is instrumental in the construction of cultural identity and the aim of this study is to understand "Lefkadian identity" through the study of "Lefkadian dance". The rural repertoire studied presents a paradoxical situation whereby presentational (official) and participatory (unofficial) dance performances seem to bear little relation to one another.

The study follows an interdisciplinary strategy that leads to a synthesis of social and dance analyses. Historical and laographic sources are used within the context of an ethnochoreological approach, which brings together contextual information and motional analysis of the dances. The dance phenomenon, embodied in a sociocultural framework, is revealed through its structural and stylistic dimensions, parameters of equal importance for the definition of a dance form.

The folk-classification of the dances as "indigenous" or "foreign", along with the differing statuses afforded the genres, reveals the way the dance repertoires are manipulated by the Lefkadians. In conclusion, cultural identity is defined analytically from the dance point of view and is further examined in the wider Greek cultural frame of the "Helleno-Romeic dilemma".

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


dance, cultural identity, Lefkada


March 1997

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

22 May 2020 14:02

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 14:23


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