chapter  7
15 Pages

Instances of Inspiration: Interviewing Dancers and Writers

WithHelena Wulff

In this chapter, the author was interested in the anthropological interview as an instance of inspiration when the interviewer and the interviewee trigger each other into an exchange of escalating states of creativity beneficial for the interviewer’s research process as well as for the interviewee in the form of potential new personal or professional insights. Featuring interview cases from extensive ethnographic research on dancers and writers, this chapter is intended to bring out connections between participant observation and interviews and also to discuss the interviewer’s demeanour and design of questionnaires. The crucial point is that in anthropological interviews, inspiration is relational and a possibility after a ‘mutual tuning in’ has been taking place between the interviewer and the interviewee. There are formal versus informal interviews with an open-ended and in-depth approach. Most of the time, people are cooperative, even flattered by the invitation to be interviewed, but occasionally we are rejected, at least initially.