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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Performing Thyself: Sparking Imagination and Exploring Ethnic Identity Through Singing and Dancing

  • Author(s): Tsetsura, Katerina
  • et al.

This essay discusses two sets of creative teaching methods: live singing and dancing. The performance by an instructor can set a mode for students to achieve intellectual transformation by exploring issues of identity. The role of music, especially folk singing and dancing, is specifically examined within the intercultural context of communication. Performative dialogue can be used as an effective, novel technique to initiate and develop cultural connections and discussions of culture and identity in the classroom. The author shares her experience of performing folk dancing and singing as examples of Russian cultural musical heritage to illustrate how singing and dancing can help students to learn about themselves and others, about culture, identity, and communication at large.

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