International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology


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 Group on Ethnochoreology is the largest Study Group within the ICTM (name change from IFMC to ICTM occured in 1981) with a multidisciplinary membership. Scholars - young and old, critically 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 236 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

Report on the 28th Symposium in Korcula, Croatia

Report on the 28th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology

Korcula, Croatia, 7-18 July 2014.

By Liz Mellish

29th Symposium to meet in Austria, July 9-16, 2016

The Study Group on Ethnochoreology will hold its 29th Symposium at the Retzhof Castle near Graz, Austria from July 9-16, 2016. The local host is the Institute of Ethnomusicology at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. There will be two themes: (1) Dance and the Senses and (2) Dancing and Dance Cultures in Urban Contexts. Further details about the symposium can be found at the dedicated website, which will be continually updated as additional information becomes available.

43rd ICTM World Conference

The 43rd ICTM World Conference will be held at the Kazakh National University of Arts in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 16th - 22nd July, 2015. It would be wonderful to have our Study Group on Ethnochoreology well represented at it. There are some interesting themes for us which we could consider for either individual papers, panels or roundtables. Proposals for films and workshops are also welcomed. Themes include: The Creators of Music and Dance; Music, Dance, the Body, and Society; and Visual Representation of Music Cultures, among others.

Website for the 28th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology

Visit the dedicated website for our upcoming symposium in Croatia to find information about the accommodations, transportation, registration, and excursion plans as well as updates on the program, schedule, and post-symposium publication guidelines as the information becomes available:

Call for Papers: 28th Symposium of ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology, Korčula, Croatia, 2014

  • Hosted by the 
Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research in cooperation with Korčula Tourist Board.
  • Held in Korčula, on the island of Korčula, Croatia.
  • 7—17 July 2014 (arrival 6-7 July and departure 17-18 July)

Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions 10 October 2013

In accordance with aims and objectives as a Study Group of the ICTM this biennial symposium is dedicated to two selected themes, which form the focus of presentations and discussions.

Meeting of new Ethnochoreology Sub-Study Group on Movement Analysis

Invitation to the meeting of the Sub-Study Group of Movement Analysis, hosted by the Department of Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

The meeting will take place in Budapest, in connection with the celebration dedicated to the 80th anniversary of György Martin’s birth.

Report on the 27th Symposium in Limerick, Ireland

Siri Maeland's report for the ICTM Bulletin on the Study Group's 27th Symposium at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick, Ireland, including the Study Group on Ethnochoreology's 50th Anniversary Celebration which took place during the symposium in July, 2012.

Website of the 27th Symposium now online

The 27th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology will take place between 22nd -29th  July, 2012, at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Symposium registration and payments can now be made at the symposium's website

27th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology

University of Limerick, Ireland, July 22rd - 29th, 2012

We are pleased to announce the 27th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology and invite proposals to be submitted by Monday, 31st October, 2011.

Please note that according to our aims and objectives as a Study Group of the ICTM this biennial event is not a general conference on dance but a symposium dedicated to two selected themes, which will form the focus of our presentations and discussions.

The themes for the Study Group’s 27th Symposium are: