Les danses mongoles en héritage : performance et transmission du bii biêlgee et de la danse mongole scénique en Mongolie contemporaine

Abstract : Drawing on both social anthropology and performing arts, this thesis deals with the transmission of Mongolian dances in contemporary Mongolia. By studying danced performance from the perspective of transmission, the main purpose of this work is to understand the role dance plays in building up feelings of national belonging. In this regard, Mongolia provides a particularly fruitful field of study. On the one hand, biy biyelgee, the traditional dance of the Oirats (Western Mongols), included on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, is closely linked to the nomadic pastoral lifestyle by virtue of the mimed gestures it incorporates. On the other hand, what may be called ‘scenic Mongolian dance’, the professionalized version of biy biyelgee, confers national and international legitimacy on these stereotyped representations. My fieldwork study of the institutions, networks and practices underlying the transmission and performance of Mongolian dances shows that their efficacy stems less from the representations they convey than from the relational conditions of their performance. The formal and informal dance training I was able to observe, and sometimes take part in, is oriented less towards the instilling techniques than towards the selection and gradual legitimization of those who exhibit an outstanding ‘talent’ (av’yaas) for performing in public. Indeed, the distinction between dancers and non-dancers lies at the heart of the process of transmission. The dancer, on the strength of his performative abilities, is able to elicit specific modes of participation from the audience, making him/her into a quasi-ritual specialist. As the legitimate emanation of the group which he/she publicly represents, the dancer, in the same performative act, both embodies Mongolian culture through dance and establishes it as a constitutive element of “mongolness”.
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Raphaël Blanchier. Les danses mongoles en héritage : performance et transmission du bii biêlgee et de la danse mongole scénique en Mongolie contemporaine. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. PSL Research University, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PSLEP027⟩. ⟨tel-02142423⟩

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