chapter  4
40 Pages

A Bold Step Forward: Genevieve Oswald and the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library

WithLynn Matluck Brooks

This chapter concerns Pontic dance, particularly as part of the celebrations of Panayia Soumela, as a marker of identity for the Pontians in Greece. It examines dance as a system of differentiation. The chapter explores the contextual nature of difference within the Greek state with reference to Pontian collectivities, and examines its materialization vis-a-vis the developments of Greek nationalism. It concerns critical questions about processes of maintenance and reconstruction of Pontian identity over the period of relocation to Greece. In the social sciences the concept of the narcissism of minor differences has lent itself to the development of a theory of conflict. The narcissism of minor differences was the effect of a process of magnifying once-small differences that now come to operate as reminders of why people are apart. The festivities of Panayia Soumela incorporate religious and civic performances. Panayia Soumela and Pontic dance did not always constitute major differentiations for the Pontian collectivities.