Contemporary Dance in Iceland; Identifying and locating contemporary dance as it takes place in Iceland in the present
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The history of dance as an art form in Iceland is young. It is highly influenced by the Western canonical history of dance but at the same time, that history cannot be considered the history of contemporary dance in Iceland. This paper is concerned with discussing the ambiguous relationship that exists between the Western canonical history of dance and the history and genealogy of contemporary dance in Iceland. I will argue in this paper that the ambiguous relations Icelandic contemporary dance holds with its past is problematic in terms of how dance is made in Iceland and how it can be observed critically. When it comes to terminology within the local dance discourse this paper will highlight how this ambiguity can be seen to have created confusion in the way terminology has emerged in the Icelandic vocabulary. When one looks at the aesthetics of styles and genres of contemporary dance in Iceland, it is clear that the scene has not been created in a void. It has been formed from influences, genres and styles from Europe and North - America that have found their way on to the island. At the same time, the island is not intrinsically linked to either the scenes of Europe and North America. In this thesis I intend to locate and identify contemporary dance as it takes place in Iceland presently. To do so I will attempt to give an account of the origins, traces and current discourses of the contemporary dance scene in Iceland. As such, this thesis can be understood and read as an attempt to critically locate, identify and map contemporary dance as it is understood and practiced in Iceland presently.