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Intangible inventions: the Kalbeliya gypsy dance form, from its creation to UNESCO recognition

Ayla Joncheere (UGent)
(2015) ARCHIV ORIENTÁLNÍ. 83(1). p.71-93
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Abstract
Despite the creation of the Kālbeliyā dance form in the 1980s, it was recognized as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2010. Rajasthani “Gypsy” performances,featuring a dance designed by the nomadic Kālbeliyā community, have quickly become popular among tourists in India as well as on Western world music stages. The state of Rajasthan, where the Kālbeliyās hail from, is celebrated as “India’s heritage state” by the Indian government as it seeks to promote tourism and the international dissemination of Indian culture through performances and festivals. In this paper, I sketch the history of the Kālbeliyā dance form from its origins in the 1980s through to the UNESCO nomination in 2010. Moreover, I discuss the effects of its recognition as a world heritage dance tradition. The official approval of the Kalbeliya dance form as a heritage activity further highlights the challenges to UNESCO’s candidate selection process. This paper aims to explain the reasons for the nomination of the Kālbeliyā dance form (how and why UNESCO was persuaded to recognize it as a suitable candidate) by connecting this to the continued processes of nationalism and romanticism, the economic strategies adopted by the cultural tourism industry and the commodification and commercialization of Indian folk arts.
Keywords
Kalbeliya community, HERITAGE, dance, UNESCO, Intangible Heritage, Invented Tradition, Cultural Policy

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Chicago
Joncheere, Ayla. 2015. “Intangible Inventions: The Kalbeliya Gypsy Dance Form, from Its Creation to UNESCO Recognition.” Archiv Orientální 83 (1): 71–93.
APA
Joncheere, A. (2015). Intangible inventions: the Kalbeliya gypsy dance form, from its creation to UNESCO recognition. ARCHIV ORIENTÁLNÍ, 83(1), 71–93.
Vancouver
1.
Joncheere A. Intangible inventions: the Kalbeliya gypsy dance form, from its creation to UNESCO recognition. ARCHIV ORIENTÁLNÍ. 2015;83(1):71–93.
MLA
Joncheere, Ayla. “Intangible Inventions: The Kalbeliya Gypsy Dance Form, from Its Creation to UNESCO Recognition.” ARCHIV ORIENTÁLNÍ 83.1 (2015): 71–93. Print.
@article{6715453,
  abstract     = {Despite the creation of the K\={a}lbeliy\={a} dance form in the 1980s, it was recognized as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2010. Rajasthani {\textquotedblleft}Gypsy{\textquotedblright} performances,featuring a dance designed by the nomadic K\={a}lbeliy\={a} community, have quickly become popular among tourists in India as well as on Western world music stages. The state of Rajasthan, where the K\={a}lbeliy\={a}s hail from, is celebrated as {\textquotedblleft}India{\textquoteright}s heritage state{\textquotedblright} by the Indian government as it seeks to promote tourism and the international dissemination of Indian culture through performances and festivals. In this paper, I sketch the history of the K\={a}lbeliy\={a} dance form from its origins in the 1980s through to the UNESCO nomination in 2010. Moreover, I discuss the effects of its recognition as a world heritage dance tradition. The official approval of the Kalbeliya dance form as a heritage activity further highlights the challenges to UNESCO{\textquoteright}s candidate selection process. This paper aims to explain the reasons for the nomination of the K\={a}lbeliy\={a} dance form (how and why UNESCO was persuaded to recognize it as a suitable candidate) by connecting this to the continued processes of nationalism and romanticism, the economic strategies adopted by the cultural tourism industry and the commodification and commercialization of Indian folk arts.},
  author       = {Joncheere, Ayla},
  issn         = {0044-8699},
  journal      = {ARCHIV ORIENT{\'A}LN{\'I}},
  keyword      = {Kalbeliya community,HERITAGE,dance,UNESCO,Intangible Heritage,Invented Tradition,Cultural Policy},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {71--93},
  title        = {Intangible inventions: the Kalbeliya gypsy dance form, from its creation to UNESCO recognition},
  volume       = {83},
  year         = {2015},
}

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