International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology

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Since the establishment of the IFMC in 1947 in London, dance has been strongly represented by its membership. The Study Group on Ethnochoreology is the oldest Study Group in the ICTM. In 1962, a Folk Dance Commission was established at the IFMC conference in Zlin, former Czechoslovakia. This group focused on folk dance terminology and in the early 1970s it renamed itself as the Study Group on Ethnochoreology, reflecting its changed remit beyond that of dance terminology to include cultural dimensions and other issues relating to ethnochoreology. Today, the Study Gruop on Ethnochoreology is the largest Study Group  within the ICTM (name change from IFMC to ICTM occured in 1981) with a multidisciplinary membership. Shcolars - young and old - criti ally engage in research and scholarship in their specific fields of dance research and share their insights with the membership at international biennial symposia. Currently, the Study group has a membership of  some 240 people from over 54 nations worldwide.

The increased presence of ethnochoreology and dance anthropology programmes at universities in Europe, since the 1990s, is evidence of the growing interest in the field of dance, human movement practices and culture. The Study Group on Ethnochoreology provides an important forum and network for all scholars working and researching in this interdisciplinary field.  


The objectives of the Study Group are

  • to promote research, documentation, and interdisciplinary study of dance
  • to provide a forum for cooperation among scholars and students of ethnochoreology by means of international meetings, publications, and correspondence
  • to contribute to cultural and societal understandings of humanity through the lens of dance


The Study Group organises biennial international symposia and publishes proceedings of these symposia (see Symposia and Publications page). A large percentage of the membership attend these symposia  The Study Group also meets informally at ICTM World Conferences.  

Sub-Study Groups

Within the Study Group on Ethnochoreology there are sub-study groups focusing on specific areas of interest and relevance to the membership. These groups play an important role within the Study Group and generally correspond and meet between symposia. Currently there a number of active sub-study groups.  They include the following: 

  • Sub-Study Group on Dance, Gender and Power Relations (Linnea Helmersson and Cornelia Gruber)
  • Sub-Study Group on 19th Century Round Dances (Egil Bakka)
  • Sub-Study Group on Field Research Theory and Methods (Daniela Stavělová)
  • Sub-Study Group on Movement Analysis (Siri Maeland and János Fügedi)
  • Sub-Study Group on Dance and Ritual (Chi-fang Chao)

Sub-study groups also publish research in the form of books. These have included the following:

  • Kaeppler, Adrienne; Elsie Ivancich Dunin (Editors, 2007) Dance Structures: Perspectives on the Analysis of Human Movement, Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

  • Sparti, Barbara; Van Zile, Judy (Editors, 2011) Imaging dance: visual representations of dancers and dancing. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.

Application for Membership

The Study Group on Ethnochoreology is open to all ICTM members who are involved in the field of research in dance, either as specialists in the field or in related fields.

Membership is obtained by writing to both the Chair (Catherine Foley) and the Secretary (Andriy Nahachewsky) (, The Secretary will also require the return of a completed information sheet. 

Chairperson: Dr. Catherine Foley

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance 
University of Limerick 
Tel: + 353 61 202922 
Fax: + 353 61 202589 

Vice Chairperson: Dr. Prof. Placida (Dina) Staro

Via La Lastra 26
40063 Monghidoro (Bologna)

Secretary: Dr. Andriy Nahachewsky

Huculak Chair Emeritus, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada and Brussels, Belgium

Leader of Publication Committee: Dr. Tvrtko Zebec

Institut za etnologiju i folkloristiku 
Šubićeva 42, 10 000  Zagreb
Tel: +385 91 5026621

List of Past Symposia

  • Szeged, Hungary - 2018
  • Graz, Austria - 2016
  • Korčula, Croatia – 2014
  • Limerick, Ireland – 2012
  • Třešt, Czech Republic – 2010
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 2008
  • Cluj, Romania - 2006
  • Monghidoro, Italy – 2004
  • Szeged, Hungary – 2002 
  • Korčula, Croatia – 2000
  • Istanbul, Turkey - 1998
  • Třešt, Czech Republic -1996
  • Skierniewice, Poland -1994
  • Nafplion, Greece -1992
  • Budapest, Hungary – 1990
  • Copenhagen, Denmark – 1988 
Public - accessible to all site users

2020 Business Meeting Materials

These Business Meeting Materials are matched with Agenda item numbers. Additional items will be posted as they come in.  Have a look before the meeting, so the meeting will proceed quickly!

Virtual Round Table - Ethnochoreology and COVID 19

Ethnochoreology in the Time of COVID 19

Virtual Round Table and StG Business Meeting: 20-21 July

The Programme Co-Chairs of the 31st Symposium and the Study Group Executive Committee, invite you to participate in a virtual meeting over a two day period: Monday and Tuesday, July 20 and 21, 2020.  The purpose of the meeting is two-fold:

(1) Study group Business Meeting related to elections and initial planning for the 32nd symposium in 2022;

(2) Meeting with roundtable(s) focused on ethnochoreology in a time of physical/social distancing.

2021 ! Symposium, Klaipeda, (31st)

POSTPONED UNTIL 12-18 July 2021

The 31st Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology is POSTPONED until July 12-18 2021.  It will be hosted by the Department of Ethnomusicology at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (in partnership with Klaipėda University, The Council for the Safeguarding of Ethnic Culture, The Klaipėda Ethnic Culture Center, and The Lithuanian Ethnic Culture Society), which will be held in Klaipėda, Lithuania.