International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

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 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 an active and associate membership of  some 250 people from over 58 countries 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. A large percentage of the membership attend these symposia. Recent symposia take place in a hybrid format. 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 groups also publish research in the form of books. These have included the following:

  • Egil Bakka, Theresa Jill Buckland, Helena Saarikoski, Anne Von Bibra Wharton (Editors, 2020) Waltzing Through Europe: Attituded towards Couple Dances in the Long Nineteenth Century.  Open Book Publishers.

  • 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 (Placida Staro) and the Secretary (Andriy Nahachewsky) (, and completing a brief information sheet (copy attached below). 

Executive Committee

Chairperson: Placida Staro
Vice-Chairperson: Siri Maeland
Secretary: Andriy Nahachewsky

Chair of Publications Committee: Tvrtko Zebec
Previous Symposium: Rebeka Kunej
Upcoming Symposium: Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin

List of Past Symposia

  • Brežice, Slovenia - 2022 (Themes: Reconsidering Knowledge Production; Inclusion/Exclusion) (Abstract Booklet attached in Brežice Post below)
  • Klaipeda, Lithuania - 2021   (Themes: Dance and Economy; Dance Transmission)
  •   (Online Roundtable - 2020)  (Theme: Ethnochoreology in the Time of Covid 19)
  • Szeged, Hungary - 2018  (Themes: Dance and Politics; Dance and Age)
  • Graz, Austria - 2016  (Themes: Dance and the Senses; Dancing and Dance Cultures in Urban Contexts)
  • Korčula, Croatia – 2014 (Themes: Dance and Narrative; Dance as Intangible Cultural Heritage)
  • Limerick, Ireland – 2012  (Themes: Dance and Place; Dance and Festival)
  • Třešt, Czech Republic – 2010  (Themes: Dance, Gender and Meanings; Contemporizing Traditional Dance)
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 2008 (Themes: Transmitting Dance as Cultural Heritage; Dance and Religion)
  • Cluj, Romania - 2006  (Themes: From Field to Text; Dance and Space)
  • Monghidoro, Italy – 2004  (Themes: Visible and Invisible Dance; Crossing Identity Boundaries)
  • Szeged, Hungary – 2002  (Themes: Reappraising our Past, Moving into the Future; Dancer as a Cultural Performer)
  • Korčula, Croatia – 2000  (Themes: Sword Dances and Related Calendrical Dance Events; Revival, Reconstruction, Revitalization)
  • Istanbul, Turkey - 1998  (Themes: Traditional Dance and its Historical Sources; Creative Processes, Improvisation and Composition)
  • Třešt, Czech Republic -1996  (Themes: Children and Traditional Dancing; Dance and Style)
  • Skierniewice, Poland -1994  (Themes: Ritual and Ritual Dances in Contemporary Society; Dance and Music Relationship)
  • Nafplion, Greece -1992  (Themes: Dance and its Socio-Political Aspects; Dance and Costume)
  • Budapest, Hungary – 1990  (Themes: Dance Transmission and Diffusion; Implement Dances)
  • Copenhagen, Denmark – 1988 (Theme: The Dance Event: A Complex Cultural Phenomenon)

ViceChair Election: SIRI MAELAND

SIRI MÆLAND, PhD, senior Researcher, born in Stavanger, Norway in 1974

Business Meeting Documents, 26 July 2024

here are the documents relative to the 2024 Business Meeting of the StG in Izmir

New documents will be added as they become available

Website up for 2024 Symposium in Izmir

Colleagues, please see the newly posted website for the Symposium in Izmir in July:

Please note that the length of individual presentations are 15 minutes + 5 minutes for questions!

Deadline for Presentation Submissions extended to 1 Dec

Dear members and supporters, 

please note that the Deadline for submissions for the 2024 Izmir Symposium has been extended to 1 December 2023. See the Call for Papers in the previous post for the remaining details.

Second Call for Papers: Izmir Symposium

Dear colleagues,

Please find attached the Second Call for Papers.
The Symposium will be held in Izmir, Turkey, 21-28 July 2024.
Deadlines for submission are 15 October (with offers for English assistance) and finally, 1 November.
See you there!

Next Symposium Location changed to IZMIR, Turkey, 21-28 July 2024

The Exec Committee in consultation with the Programme Committee has recognized a need to change the location of the 33rd Symposium next year to Izmir, Turkey (replacing Borcka), scheduled for 21-28 July 2024.

This has been made to simplify logistics, travel, and Organizing Committee communication, and will hopefully result in a more successful and productive gathering.  See the attached information document and SEE YOU THERE!

2024 Symposium, Izmir (new location), Turkey, CALL FOR PAPERS

See attached the Call for Papers for the 33rd Symposium of the StG on Ethnochoreology in Turkey, July 2024. Please note that the location has been changed to Izmir, not Borçka.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes confirmed. 


Brežice Symposium Proceedings

Dear Colleagues,  Thank you for presenting your work at the 32nd Symposium of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology.

Sub-Study Group Reports

The Study Group on Ethnochoreology has 6 active Sub-Study Groups: 

  1. Dance, Gender, Power Relations (Linnea Helmersson, Cornelia Gruber)
  2. 19th Century Round Dances (Egil Bakka)
  3. Field Research Theory and Methods (Daniela Stavelova)
  4. Movement Analysis (Siri Maeland and Janos Fugedi)
  5. Dance and Ritual (Chi-fang Chao)
  6. Dance and Diaspora (Daniela Ivanova-Nyborg)

Past reports are archived here.

Bylaws and Guideline Documents

These Bylaws were passed by electronic vote for the Business Meeting on 3 August 2022.

The Guideline documents for the Symposium Organising Committee, the Programme Committee, the Publications Committee, and for Proposals for Potential Symposium Hosts were created by the Executive Committee and presented at that Business Meeting for discussion.