Couple turning experience in Estonian traditional dance - A case study on the members of folklore society Leigarid
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- Institutt for musikk 
The European improvisational couple’s turning dances such as waltz, polka and rheinländer (schottische) were some of the most common social dances by the end of 1800s in Estonia. Their definitive technical elements went through considerable transformation when used for mostly stage folk purposes during the 20th century. This dissertation explores how 100 years after their active practice the insights drawn from archival video recordings, from previously published ethnographic accounts, and from participants of ongoing turning technique workshops are brought together into a system of references in an effort to access the technical aspects of the social style of these dances. The dialogic, somewhat reconstructive process involving archive, traditional and innovative pedagogy and embodiment becomes relevant for technique-focused knowledge building in the social dance community. Using content analysis, the factors contributing to turning experience as expressed by the informants are mapped out. They exceed far beyond the ‘proper’ execution of steps, posture or hold, which suggests the potential more specific investigation. In the study process, the issues of conducting virtual ethnography and the potentiality of disembodied access to the field arise due to the methods of data collection employed.