Folk Dancing in the City Individuality, Innovation and Hybridity of tradition among folk dancers and members of a young NGO in Beirut-Lebanon
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- Institutt for musikk 
This dissertation investigates the specificities of the Lebanese Dabkeh through its enactment by city folk dancers and within a young Non Governmental Organization in Beirut, Lebanon. By examining the mutable structure of the dance and the space it opens for individual agency’s interaction, as displayed in the field, this paper suggests that Lebanese Dabkeh enables constant novelty and change. By looking at the Lebanese social agents’ historical construction, the study asserts that the long-standing social diversity of the geographical area, frequent travels and the hospitable reception of multiple “others” have formulated cosmopolitan social actors that values fusion, change and exchange. The project of homogeneity and authenticity brought by the Nation State project did not succeed in Lebanon, due to the loose structure of the state, and motivated enactment of Lebanese artists, who succeeded in maintaining and reinforcing the “mix and match” tendency and strengthening the hybridity of the dance rather than purifying it. A further look at Marhabtain’s contemporary Dabkeh performance Women under the line reaffirms our statement of “hybridity” is embedded in Dabkeh tradition. This dissertation attempts to critically examine Marhabtain’s safeguarding endeavours in relation to the socio-political environment of the practice, and proposes to protect the cosmopolitan character of the dance rather than creating a fixed “traditional” form.