Fest-Noz, festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional dances of Brittany
Inscribed in 2012 (7.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- Fest-Noz, festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional dances of Brittany
Fest-Noz is a festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional Breton dances, accompanied by singing or instrumental music. The strong Breton cultural movement has preserved this expression of a living and constantly renewed practice of inherited dance repertoires with several hundred variations, and thousands of tunes. About a thousand Fest-Noz take place every year with participants varying from a hundred to several thousand people, thousands of musicians and singers and tens of thousands of regular dancers. Beyond the practice of the dance, the Fest-Noz is characterized by an intense camaraderie among the singers, musicians and dancers, significant social and intergenerational diversity, and openness to others. Traditionally, transmission occurs through immersion, observation and imitation, although hundreds of devotees have worked with tradition bearers to compile the repertoires and lay the groundwork for new modes of transmission. Today, the Fest-Noz is at the centre of an intense ferment of musical experiences and has spawned a veritable cultural economy. Many meetings are held between singers, musicians and dancers from Brittany and different cultures. Moreover, many new inhabitants of Breton villages use Fest-Noz as a means of integration, as it is heavily implicated in the sense of identity and continuity of the people of Brittany.
- Nomination form: English|French
- Consent of communities - local authorities: French
- Consent of communities - Drawings of children: Breton
- Consent of communities - individuals: French
Decision 7.COM 11.13
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: Fest-Noz celebrates the importance of traditional dances and music performances for Breton communities, constituting communal gatherings passed down from generation to generation, recreated and reinvented according to changing times.
- R.2: Inscription of Fest-Noz on the Representative List could increase the visibility of intangible cultural heritage in general and promote awareness of its importance, while providing an example of intercultural dialogue and human creativity.
- R.3: Current efforts to safeguard and promote the performance of Fest-Noz are outlined in the nomination, and proposed safeguarding measures, supported by the State and communities concerned, include documentation, promotion, formal education and non-formal transmission of musical and choreographic knowledge.
- R.4: Several researchers, practitioners, dance and music groups, as well as individuals of the Breton community, participated in the nomination process, and provided their free, prior and informed consent for the inscription.
- R.5: With the participation of the concerned community, the Fest-Noz was included in 2011 in the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of France, maintained by the Ministry of Culture.
Inscribes Fest-Noz, festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional dances of Brittany on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
© Yves Defrance
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