Re: dancin', prancin', etc. [DEBATE, SILLY]

N. Bannister - L. Maners (landn@AZSTARNET.COM)
Fri, 16 Feb 1996 09:02:24 -0700

Okay y, John it was the Village People, right?
Anyway, my first response to your question about what's my hermeneutic
was respond, "Hermeneutic, we don't go to show you no stinkin'
hermeneutics" (Nancy and I are Bogie fans) :-) Seriously though
performance ethnology isn't my invention. It stems from ethnomusicology
and the original reference is Behague, Gerard, "Performance Ethnology:
Ethnomusicological Perspectives, Greenwood Press, 1984.It's a collection
of articles on the subject. I found it to be an invaluable tool. Creating
dance and music as a cultural performer is a bit different than the usual
participant/observation in most anthropology. Best,Lynn

On Thu, 15 Feb 1996, John H. Stevens, Jr. wrote:

> Thanks first to everyone, Lynn and Brian especially, for interesting posts.
> Second, no one has guessed the answer to the trivia question: it is not
> David Bowie and it is not Wang Chung, but the latter is close. C'mon,
> folks, weren't any of you listening to inane post-disco/pre-rave in the mid
> '80s? I obviously was!!!
> Third, I'd just like to riff on Lynn's discussion of performance ethnology
> and Brian's attempt to complicate the lovely duality of dance/drill with
> march (altho I like parade better, since march to me is close to drill.
> Boy, that was a weird sounding sentence!!). With Lynn, we are crossing
> over from a sort of subjective participation (like what Mike S. in
> particular has been passing on to us) to questions of method in studying
> phenomena like dance. Lynn's witty observation that many anthros basically
> eschew deep analysis of dance is salient, although not universal. But of
> course, Lynn's method is one that is intimately linked to the phenomenon
> being studied, one which indeed problematizes the emic/etic distinction,
> esp. I think in regard to the "sphere" of performance. Lynn, what's yer
> hermeneutic??? Seriously, is performance ethnology your own creation or is
> this a particular subdiscipline I haven't heard of?? And what does it tell
> us that either subjective participation like Mike's or that ole devil etic
> gaze can't?
> As for march, my only observation is, what is this stuff called in other
> cultures??? For example, did, say, Zulu warriors have drills??? How do
> other cultures categorize (or do they???) practices like the ones we've
> been discussing, and what are the cultural meanings that folks attach to
> these practices?? Obviously, my curiosity outstrips my knowledge on this
> one!!
> And you all force me to say THE WORD again: RITUAL!!! Think about it!
> Best regards,
> John H. Stevens, Jr.
> Department of Anthropology
> Cornell University
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