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Type: Book chapter
Title: Pontic dance: feeling the absence of homeland
Author: Liddle, V.
Citation: Emotions, Senses, Spaces: Ethnographic Engagements and Intersections, 2016 / Hemer, S., Dundon, A. (ed./s), Ch.4, pp.49-65
Publisher: University of Adelaide Press
Publisher Place: Adelaide, South Australia
Issue Date: 2016
ISBN: 1925261263
Statement of
Valerie Liddle
Abstract: Pontic dance originated in the Pontos area of northern Turkey. It survived a genocide and exile of Pontians from that region in the 1920s as well as their migration to Australia thirty to forty years later. In this chapter, I discuss how Pontic dance, in both its choreographic and participatory modes, embodies the loss Pontians feel they have suffered as a result of these ruptures. Pontians assert that it is necessary to have a certain 'feel' in order to dance in an authentic way. Although this 'feel' may manifest itself in the bodily movements of the dance, it is an expression that comes from a sense of loss that Pontians inwardly feel and express through dance, particularly a loss of place and a waning of cultural practice. This loss is referenced in two ways: first, historically, the dances, their execution, costumes and musical instruments embody the loss of the former homeland. Second, the movements of the dance outwardly express the passion the dancers feel about what it means to be Pontian. This chapter explores how the performance space composed of the emotion and sensation of the dance makes present the absence of a way of life in Greece and the loss of the original homeland.
Rights: © 2016 The Contributors. This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License. To view a copy of this licence, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA. This licence allows for the copying, distribution, display and performance of mis work for non-commercial purposes providing the work is clearly attributed to the copyright holders. Address all inquiries to the Director at the above address.
RMID: 0030055894
DOI: 10.20851/emotions-04
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Appears in Collections:Geography, Environment and Population publications

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