“Ladies and Gentlemen”: Nostalgised Pavilion Dance Culture as a Performative Resource in the We Love Helsinki Club Concept

Kim Ramstedt

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This article explores Finnish “iskelmä” music (schlager, Finnish light popular song) and the associated pavilion dance culture as a retro phenomenon in an urban nightclub environment in the We Love Helsinki (WLH) events. I particularly focus on the DJs’ strategies in creating a sense of community among the clubbers, and how the events have become a forum to pursue romance among audience mem- bers. I will argue that the notion of iskelmä is used as a performative resource by the audience that influences their behavioural patterns. A performative reading of the audience is done by considering how gender positions are articulated and understood in this context. The study is theoretically informed by performance studies and methodologically the research is based on fieldwork conducted between 2012 and 2014, comprising semi-structured interviews with DJs and observations at four large WLH events during this period. Additional material includes WLH promotional material and media coverage of the events. 

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)48–66
JournalPuls – musik- och dansetnologisk tidskrift
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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