Gunnel Biskop

Published On


Page Range

pp. 457–480


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

17. Minuet Memories and Minuet among the Swedish-speaking Population in Finland today

  • Gunnel Biskop (author)
The chapter presents oral traditions concerning the minuet in the Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia in Finland in the twentieth century and examines the significance of the minuet in Swedish-speaking Finland today. The documented stories show, for example, that the minuet was so deeply rooted among soldiers from specific Ostrobothnian parishes that their wanted to dance it among themselves in the front. As a part of the contemporary organised folk dance movement, the minuet has become emblematic of the dance traditions in Swedish-speaking Finland.


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).