Gunnel Biskop

Published On


Page Range

pp. 353–368


  • English

Print Length

16 pages

12. Collecting Minuets among the Swedish-speaking Population in Finland

  • Gunnel Biskop (author)
The chapter examines the documentation of minuet traditions in Swedish-speaking Finland from the late nineteenth until the end of the twentieth century. A special attention is paid to the significant work of Yngvar Heikel who collected folk dances, minuets among others, from all Finnish-Swedish regions during the 1920s and 30s. Thanks to his documentation, it is known how the minuet was danced in the early twentieth century. His particular merit is that the complicated habits connected to the ceremonial dances at weddings are known today. The later film recordings, in turn, provide an understanding of how the minuets were danced in the late 1900s.


Gunnel Biskop


Gunnel Biskop born in Karleby in Ostrobothnia in Finland is a retired editor from Kemira Ltd in Helsinki (1968–2003). From a young age she has participated in a folk dance group and has danced all the traditional minuets recorded in Finland. She is on the board of Finlands Svenska Folkdansring. Alongside her full-time work she studied folklore and ethnology at Åbo Akademi university and finished a Master of Art 1990. In the field of dance, she has published five books and participated in fifteen anthologies and written over a hundred articles. Her PhD thesis is called Dansen för åskådare. Intresset för folkdansen som estradprodukt och insamlingsobjekt hos den svenskspråkiga befolkningen i Finland under senare delen av 1800-talet (Åbo Akademi 2012) (Dance for an audience. The interest in folk dance as a stage product and object of dance collecting among Swedish-speakers in Finland during the latter half of the 19th century). Her book Menuetten – älsklingsdansen. Om menuetten i Norden – särskilt i Finlands svenskbygder – under trehundrafemtio år (The Minuet – The loved Dance. About the minuet in the Nordic region – especially in the swedish-speaking area of Finland – for three hundred and fifty years) was published in 2015. Since 1990, she has participated in the projects of Nordisk forening for folkedansforskning (Nordic association for folk dance research) and served on its board. Together with Egil Bakka et al (eds), she co-edited Norden i Dans. Folk ‒ Fag ‒ Forskning (Oslo, Novus 2007).