The Choreographer’s Trust: Negotiating Authority in Peggy Baker’s Archival Project
This chapter reflects on the author's dance work with the Ethiopian community in Israel beginning in 1991 and continuing to the present. The Ethiopian community in Israel is an ethnic group of Jews whose existence was little known outside their native land until the beginning of the nineteenth century. The author's work with the dance groups Eskesta and Beta is one of the meeting points in the convoluted relationship between ethnic dance and stage dance in Israel, a relationship always reflecting ideologies and political changes. While the relationship between folk dances and dances of various communities underwent change and experienced reciprocal fertilization, stage dance continued developing on an independent course without any connection to ethnic or Israeli folk dance. The eskesta appears in folk dances of several Ethiopian areas with differences in motifs and in its place in the dance.