Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Alejandro Cerón, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Esteban Gomez

Third Advisor

Sarah Morelli


Community, Dance, Globalization, Iceland, Network, Second-hand knowledge


This research is an exploration of the contemporary dance community in Reykjaví­­k, Iceland. The research questions guiding this thesis were founded in a desire to understand how the dance community in Reykjaví­k creates its own agency and meaning within the city of Reykjaví­­k, as well as how the dance community in Reykjaví­k takes imported dance knowledge, localizes it and creates local meaning. With this goal of understanding the ways the community navigates the wider global dance network from its location as a northern island, I utilize concepts from the anthropology of globalization as well as dance anthropology. I specifically employ the global cultural economy and ideas of second-hand knowledge. I conducted an ethnographic study with dancers across three generations during the summer and fall of 2017 editions of the Reykjaví­k Dance Festival. This methodology included nine semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and analysis of online materials. I discuss how the isolation of Iceland, the movement of bodies and ideas, funding challenges, the climate of Iceland, and the roles of activism and collaboration contribute to the dance scene in Reykjaví­­k. I suggest that dance and other art communities have their own localized agency and are not as restricted by the global cultural economy as some would suggest. Thus, I propose that Icelandic artists have their own first-hand knowledge and have found ways to navigate through this global dance network in a way that puts their city into the center of the network.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Emily Creek


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

108 p.