Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Issue 27, November 2011

    Dancing Gender, Culture and Identity:
    The Art and Politics of Moving Bodies in Oceania

    April K. Henderson, Sean Mallon, Katerina M. Teaiwa

    1. In her pioneering work on Cook Islands dance, Kalissa Alexeyeff shows how this art of the moving body is imbricated in shaping political, social and economic agendas.[1] Alexeyeff approaches dance as a historically generative force for change in these islands, and a medium through which broader processes of globalisation are engaged. Dance and other expressive forms, she asserts, 'are affectively and materially embedded in the economic and political forces that shape Cook Islands globalization.'[2] They are also, she emphasises, critical to negotiations and displays of the various components of identity, such as 'gender, sexuality, race, class, and rank [that] assume primacy according to situational context.'[3] Such work that places dance and its polyphonic and performative elements at the very centre of analysis of Pacific histories or contemporary politics is surprisingly rare in Pacific studies. Much of this has to do with the dominance of ethnomusicology as the primary lens for performing arts research, and within this field, a privileging of analyses of music over dance; of structural and formal features of music over context; and of 'traditional' over 'contemporary' forms. By contrast, Alexeyeff builds on precedents set by earlier research that linked the shifting practices of Cook Islands' dance to construction of ethnic and national identities,[4] but—crucially—extends arguments into the necessary and long-overdue realm of sustained gender analysis. Dance, so implicated in both outsider and insider articulations of many Pacific Island cultures, is a particularly important 'vehicle through which notions of gender are produced, circulated, affirmed, and contested.'[5]
    2. In this collection of articles and essays on dance in Oceania, we follow Alexeyeff's lead in viewing expressive culture as a vital medium for social action and political expression, and we similarly begin from the premise that gender analyses are fundamental to illuminating our understanding of them. We appreciate the importance of dance for informing and performing senses of self and other; dance is a means through which individuals and communities make meaning, whether they are dancing themselves or observing the dances of others. In her work on dance in the Philippines, another dance ethnographer, Sally Ann Ness, calls particular attention to the meaning-making of the performer of choreographed movement. Distinguishing this process of meaning-making from that more typically studied by 'historians, political scientists, economists, and other social scientists,' Ness emphasises how it is 'meaning that develops in relation to essentially creative or originative figures of thought and action,' and 'must emerge from personal and subjective reflection, and in an attuning to the moment-to-moment experience of being physically alive [italics in original].'[6] Written in an evocative, personal tone, Pamela Zeplin's contribution to this collection provides an extended meditation on such moment-to-moment experiences of being physically alive—and particularly being physically alive in a body that is positioned quite specifically by gender, race, age and disability in particular spatial and temporal moments. Zeplin's essay narrates how a seemingly tacky artificial 'grass skirt'—an object initially repulsive to both middle-class Australian senses of taste and to scholarly desires for native authenticity—nevertheless comes to circulate in webs of genuinely affectionate exchange, reinforcing human connection across gender, culture and generation. Zeplin's essay manages to underscore, without citing, a range of influential scholarship on the circulation of culture, commodities, people and ideas in and through the Pacific.[7] As Samoan writer and intellectual Albert Wendt once intoned, 'usage determines authenticity,'[8] The skirt starts out as an earnestly-gifted but slightly embarrassing token of Zeplin's time at the Pacific Festival of Arts in Samoa, but subsequently becomes a focal point for the author's reconnection to memories of a grandmother, and to the creation and sustaining of relationships with a granddaughter. It is not the skirt alone, however, that is important; rather, it is the way that the inanimate item is brought to life through regular use —the way that meaning is danced into it.
    3. Along the way, Zeplin's essay also illuminates the predicament of a figure that could use more analysis in the Pacific—what we might call the critical intellectual tourist. James Clifford writes of 'the Squanto effect'—how the monotypic figure of the 'native informant' in travel and ethnographic literature often belies complex histories of native cosmopolitanism where 'natives' are themselves multilingual, travelling, world-bridging interpreters[9]—but the critical intellectual tourist is an inverse figure that can be called forth in counterpoint. It is still the case that the bulk of the world's academics who study the Pacific are not themselves Pacific Islanders, and most of these will have, at some point, found themselves in a Pacific location and having the uncomfortable experience of knowing that they are perceived as 'just another tourist' even while doing their damndest to distinguish themselves as somehow special, different, better for all their archival research, ethnographic acuity, and lashings of postcolonial theory. In fact, dance always does a superb job of crafting such moments: palpable examples occur every time academic conference organisers in the region bring in a Pacific dance troupe as part of the conference festivities, and the critical intellectuals are painfully and uncomfortably forced to inhabit their bodies in unaccustomed ways in the de rigeur conference-closing crowd participation number.
    4. Having participated for several years in various Pacific Studies conferences of this nature, the editors of this special volume convened a very different kind of gathering in 2005. 'Culture Moves! Dance in Oceania from Hiva to Hip Hop' in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, was the first international Pacific Studies gathering that focused explicitly on Pacific dance, and most specifically and uniquely, on 'contemporary' Pacific dance in the truest sense of the word: that is, the conference considered within its scope a wide array of dance forms that are contemporaneously influential for dancing Pacific bodies, running the gamut from 'traditional' or 'heritage' dances to Western modern forms to American street dances associated with hip hop. An ambitious collaboration between staff at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Victoria University of Wellington, and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the conference brought together dance scholars and other academics, choreographers, dancers, artists, museum staff, and members of many communities for three days and nights of panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and performances. While gender was not stated as an overarching theme of the conference—nor even the explicit frame for any particular panel—negotiations of gender were everywhere apparent. Dance practices, as specific types of intentional, performative, bodily movement that garner collective interest and scrutiny, provide especially productive spheres for both the reinforcement of societal gender norms and for their critique and subversion.

      Figure 1. 'Paper Flowers,' a performance piece created by artist Siaosi Mulipola (Aotearoa/New Zealand),
      from the 'Culture Moves! Dance in Oceania from Hiva to Hip Hop' Conference.

    5. In a 'Culture Moves!' (CM!) conference presentation on aesthetics in Tongan dance, for example, Tongan intellectual Hufanga 'Okusitino Mahina discussed how the grace, poise, and dignified restraint of an idealised Tongan femininity is embodied and performed in tau'olunga. His comments were careful to distinguish what he considered to be uniquely Tongan aesthetic elements from Samoan ones. Such distinctions may seem all the more imperative given the significant amount of historic and contemporary connection, intermarriage, and cultural borrowing between two proud Pacific peoples that are relative neighbours in their home islands of central Oceania, and in the diasporic Pacific Islander neighbourhoods of New Zealand, Australia and the United States. With so much overlap and blurring at the edges, some cultural producers heighten their resolve to articulate clear and distinct centres. In the narration of these centres, gender, culture and nation often collapse and conflate: we are who we are because our women are like this, our men are like that. See? See how we dance?

      Figure 2. Nyian Dance Company (Kanaky/New Caledonia), choreographed by and featuring Richard Digoue,
      from the 'Culture Moves! Dance in Oceania from Hiva to Hip Hop' Conference.

    6. Meanwhile, quite different takes on femininity and womanhood crossed the stage in some of the 'Culture Moves!' conference's nightly performances. Co-editor Katerina Teaiwa sat next to renowned New Zealand-based choreographer and MAU company Director Lemi Ponifasio during Papua New Guinean-Australian group Sunameke's performance of an excerpt of 'Fai'a,' which loosely translates as 'fate' in the Mekeo language. The piece evokes the everyday experiences of the all-female group growing up in Darwin, a city very much at the crossroads of Australia, Asia and the Pacific. As the group of women, led by Julia Gray, playfully transformed islander women's quotidian housework—sweeping with brooms made from coconut midribs—into a choreographed expression of sisterhood and solidarity, Ponifasio turned to Teaiwa and whispered: 'I feel like I'm watching secret women's business.'

      Figure 3. Pūpūkahi I Ke Alo O Nā Pua, the hula hālau of Mid-Pacific Institute for the Arts (Honolulu, Hawai'i),
      choreography by Kaohi Yojo and Michael Lanakila Casupang, from the 'Culture Moves! Dance in Oceania
      from Hiva to Hip Hop' Conference.

    7. If Sunameke's 'Fai'a' drew attention to normative gender roles in order to recast them, other performers at 'Culture Moves!' bent gendered expectations altogether. Tofiga Fepulea'i of the Wellington-based comedic duo The Laughing Samoans—emcees of the nightly performance showcases—updated the classic cross-dressing conventions of Samoan clowning, or fale aitu, to perform a parodic hula and Samoan siva in the guise of his ever-popular 'Auntie Tala' character. Another set of performers, the flamboyant 'ladies' of Island Divas (Buckwheat, Shanene and Linda E) closed one performance evening with a raucous and risqué medley of numbers that adeptly borrowed from Western drag shows. The continuities and contrasts between The Laughing Samoans' low-key clowning and the Island Divas over-the-top display underscored a range of presentations of gender ambiguity and transvestism—performances of which both are and aren't 'traditional,' are and aren't 'acceptable,' and are and aren't tolerated in Pacific societies. Gender ambiguity and cross-dressing are standard features of performance in many Oceanic contexts, but such performances are also sites of cultural and political negotiation and policing.[10] Embodying gender 'appropriately' is a matter of careful choreography and context.

      Figures 4, 5 and 6. The performers of the Oceania Centre for Culture and the Arts Oceania Dance Theatre (Suva, Fiji) choreographed by Alan Alo; Siaosi Mulipola (aka Sha-ne'ne') of Island Divas (Aotearoa/New Zealand); and Peter Espiritu and Ka'ohi Yojo (Honolulu, Hawai'i), all from from the 'Culture Moves! Dance in Oceania from Hiva to Hip Hop' Conference.

    8. Several of the contributions to this special issue take up this theme in varying ways. Multimedia artist and gender activist Shigeyuki Kihara—a vocal audience member at the 2005 'Culture Moves!' conference–responds to these tensions in her interview with co-editor Katerina Teaiwa in this volume. Asked how gender influences her politics and creative practice Kihara replies:

        For me being a Samoan and a Fa'a fafine (gender of no limits) goes against every thread which makes up the social fabric that is essentially Western based. This has been explored in a number of my past artworks including the Fa'a fafine; In a manner of a woman 2005 series which involves a series of self portraiture photographs where I masquerade and perform a variety of gender identities in Samoan culture.

    9. Kihara goes on to elaborate her understanding of the limits of gender classification in the West and how limited gender norms relate to anthropological representations of primitive and exotic peoples. She defines Samoan Fa'afafine as 'gender with no limits,' and describes how her series of self portraits critique the hierarchical social, political and economic structures shaping the 'postcolonial Fa'afafine.' Another of Kihara's works, the performance art piece 'Taualuga: The Last Dance' (2006), powerfully uses dance as its central vehicle for providing critical commentary on Samoan colonial history and politics, while also subtly continuing the artist's trajectory of pushing gendered expectations. In the piece, Kihara solemnly and compellingly dances a taualuga— one of the most revered dances in the Samoan repertoire, and one normally reserved for virginal females of high status. Rather than the usual dance costuming of woven mat or tapa cloth, oiled skin and a voluminous headpiece, however, Kihara wears a severe black Victorian-style mourning dress accompanied by an equally severe Victorian hairstyle. As she dances to a recording of Samoan singing, a spotlight starkly casts her moving shadow larger-than-life upon a white wall. The piece—a study in contrasts—uses 'the principles of Taualuga as a form of storytelling to reference history and mirror tensions currently taking place globally today.'[11] Kihara's piece highlights, but also negotiates, tensions between Samoa and the West, while also—subtly—negotiating binary gendered expectations about moving bodies.
    10. Monika Winarnita's essay in this volume also explores negotiations over the display of 'appropriate' gender, and underscores, importantly, the inextricability of discourses of gender, race, nation, class and social status. Inclusion of Winarnita's essay extends this special issue's vision of 'Oceania' to include women migrants from a sea of Indonesian islands, negotiating—sometimes uncomfortably—their enlarged worlds in Perth, on the Western edge of Australia. While this may be an unexpected geographical leap, Winarnita's focus on negotiations of gendered respectability within migrant communities, the attention to class and social status in her analysis, and her discussion of the 'structuring discourses' by which Indonesian migrant femininity is understood (from without) and policed (from within), can be brought into productive play with other Oceanic sites. It is interesting to compare the contexts Winarnita writes about, where dance performances are constructed and critiqued against a tableau of desirable and undesirable tropes of Indonesian femininity—'mail order brides, bar girls, mothers'—to one of the central structuring discourses of Pacific femininity in which the dancing body is the trope—the Polynesian hula girl. Indeed, Winarnita's essay nicely complements another contribution to this volume, Jaqueline Lewis-Harris' discussion of Papua New Guinea 'culture schools' in Australia. Lewis-Harris' essay, about which more will be said in a moment, notes how Solien Besena and Motu Kota performers are intensely aware that the distinctly Polynesian 'hula girl' image heavily frames public assumptions about Pacific dance performance yet fails to represent their experience or performance traditions. Both Winarnita and Lewis-Harris call attention to the ways performance is shaped by complex processes involving internal politicking and the negotiation of external expectation.
    11. Additionally, Winarnita's discussion of individual and collective feelings of shame —malu and malu maluin—also have relevance to Pacific contexts where the pan-Polynesian concept mobilises its own affective economies. As Winarnita writes,

        The Indonesian performers were assuming a national identity and thus took on the malu aspect of a whole community's national identity, as well as representations of it in the transnational context of Perth.…It was not only their identity and migrant status which heightened the cultural aspect of malu and malu maluin. Rather it was also their identity in performance and representation through tropes of cultural activity; in other words, judgments were made on categories of 'authentic' Indonesian dance.

    12. Winarnita's contribution scratches the smiling surface of Australian multicultural festivals (replete with their own affective economies of presenting benignly-tolerant nationhood) to reveal the high stakes of intra-community politics and policing of gendered respectability.
    13. In addition to various Pacific takes on performing gender—of inhabiting and displaying bodies in ways that conform to or defy gendered expectations—the 2005 'Culture Moves!' conference also featured critical debate on the ways power, access and representation are shaped by gender. One of the most vociferous of these debates was prompted by the inclusion in the conference of a panel on 'Contemporary Maori Choreography' that featured only male choreographers. An audience that included notable female Maori contemporary choreographers wanted to know: how could conference organisers include a panel with that title that featured no women? The panel was a late addition to the programme, a 'special session' that had been offered to us fully-formed and conceptualised by panel organiser Moana Nepia. If the offer was take it or leave it, the conference was certainly richer for having taken it. The spontaneous debate the panel elicited was particularly interesting for drawing attention to the complex and contentious issues regarding gendered, sexualised and racialised normativities in contemporary dance. While heteronormative patriarchy reigns supreme in wider society, contemporary or modern dance choreography is one sphere where feminine and gay male subjectivities abound; another 'Culture Moves!' conference participant, New Zealand choreographer Neil Ieremia, has often publicly said he founded his initially all-male and all-Polynesian company Black Grace because contemporary dance was otherwise presumed to be a space for 'white women and gay men.' Clearly dance is a special sphere if self-declared straight men are given cause to feel like a slightly embattled minority! In this complex context of inverted gender and sexual normativities, the debates about power, representation, and the various elisions and occlusions of featuring an all-male 'Maori Contemporary Choreography' panel were understandably fraught.
    14. Ralph Buck's essay in this special issue provides a valuable and necessary discussion of masculinities in dance contexts through his analysis of how gendered identities can influence dance pedagogy. Throughout his career as a dance teacher, Buck has found himself negotiating various people's views and expectations of masculinity, dance and of males teaching dance. Through a short series of insightful discussions with three other experienced male dance teachers—both Pakeha (New Zealand European) and Māori, and self-describing as both gay and straight—Buck analyses how 'being a man' shapes their pedagogic relationships and decisions in the dance studio. Long hours in the studio classroom are the basis of fascinating reflection on the importance of touch, movement, language and voice, and how each of these are in turn shaped and inflected by gendered understandings. Buck identifies some critical issues in the reworking or challenging of gendered practices and hegemonic masculinities in the teaching of dance.
    15. As mentioned above, the venue for 'Culture Moves!' was the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. There were good reasons to hold the conference there, including its central location, and its many conference, performance and exhibition spaces. And Te Papa is placed with a long history of both preserving and shaping dance, gender and the moving body in Oceania. Indeed, museums have long been repositories for the material culture of dance. Masks, skirts, beads, anklets, necklaces, musical instruments and countless forms of dance accessories are the tangible and often disparate fragments of live performance.
    16. While the objects associated with dance are largely static in museum display, visitors nonetheless can see how the body can be decorated and—through moving fibres, rattling shells flowers, and feathers—become an instrument and a moving image of colour. Museums are locations where culture is represented but also enacted, created. It is important to remember that Te Papa is also a venue for the live performance of dance—it's a museum on a Pacific Island that is home to Maori and many other Pacific Islanders. Through its event programmes and community activities dance is regularly put on stage and is presented and re-presented for diverse audiences. The presentation of dance in this context (with a long history of static display) becomes a venue for both preservation and renewal. The moving body is displayed, gender is reinscribed, and at the same time there is room for innovation and change.
    17. Te Papa curator and Tongan dancer, Kolokesa Uafa Mahina-Tuai, curated an exhibition that coincided
      with and was named after the conference. Titled Culture Moves! Dance Costumes of the Pacific, it reminded museum visitors and conference delegates of the tangible elements that are so much a part of our dancing, moving cultures. As another CM! contributor and workshop instructor, Jennifer Shennan, has recently written,

        The significance for Pacific peoples of dress, decoration and enhancement for performance in support of the sung word is clearly fundamental, to the point where one could say that the costume itself is performed. Movement per se may be less the focus than the effect it has on some item of the costume which takes on kinetic life, and is made to dance as a result.[12]
      Figure 7. Poster for 'Culture Moves! Dance Costumes of the Pacific' Exhibition, September 2005 – September 2006. Photograph: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2006.

    18. To illustrate these significant relationships, Mahina-Tuai selected costumes from across the Pacific region and used video and slide shows to show them on moving bodies. This holistic approach to presenting dance in Te Papa was new. It was made possible by audio-visual technology that had become less expensive but also by improved access to performers, costume makers and those who could help the museum acquire costumes for collection and display. The process is well documented elsewhere,[13] but our point is that material culture offers us readings of the performance of culture and the way gender values are made visible and distinguishable in the spaces where dance takes place.

      Figure 8. An example of a display case from 'Culture Moves! Dance Costumes of the Pacific' Exhibition,
      September 2005 – September 2006. Photographer: Norman Heke, Museum of New Zealand
      Te Papa Tongarewa, 2006.

    19. Photography and moving image have long been a means to transmit and record information about dance and gender in Oceania. Some of Tony Whincup's images that feature in this edition of Intersections were used by Mahina-Tuai in a multi-media presentation in her exhibition to provide context for some of the garments on display. Whincup's photo essay in this special issue is another example of how moving bodies in Oceania are documented for future generations. The images work like an exhibition, a visual ethnography that transmits multiple messages but is also subject to multiple readings. The images first appeared in Tony and Joan Whincup's award winning book Akekeia!: Traditional Dance in Kiribati and are also part of Te Papa's photographic collections.[14] Here they've been paired with additional critical commentary, including relationships between Kiribati dance and gender. They are images that capture milliseconds of performance time, but one useful reading is that they show how material culture and the moving body in space can so dramatically mark the relationships between men and women. We see how the body is presented and decorated; we get a glimpse of the emotion and energy of the performance.
    20. Jaquelyn A. Lewis-Harris' contribution to this volume pulls together many of the themes already discussed. As highlighted earlier, her focus on Papua New Guinean 'culture schools' in Australia can be brought into productive play with Winarnita's writing: Lewis-Harris similarly discusses the role of migrant women—especially the wives of Australian men—in creating performances framed by the high stakes of representation. In this case, those stakes are about representing clan, language group and nation as well as negotiating acceptable roles and tropes of PNG manhood and womanhood. Like Winarnita, Lewis-Harris underscores the imbrications of gender, culture, nation and performance: 'Within the Australian environment,' she writes, 'there appears to be a conflation of gender and racial stereotypes in combination with colonial attitudes, which in turn influence the Solien Besena and the Motu Kota dance performances and their status in the community.' Lewis-Harris's piece can also be read alongside Ralph Buck's contribution to this volume: while writing about very different contexts, Lewis-Harris weighs in on how specifically gendered bodies and subjectivities negotiate the structuring constraints and normative expectations of creating and teaching dance. In the case of PNG culture schools in Australia, a lack of male culture bearers with the necessary knowledge means that women have had to fulfil male roles. Lewis-Harris muses on the possibility that PNG performers will have to continue to adapt—to change culture in the interest of preserving it. Lewis-Harris's piece also incorporates interesting comment on the role and significance of the material culture of dance. Her discussion of the gendered webs of trade and exchange through which PNG dancers acquire dance costuming, and the constraints they face, again highlights the generative interplay between the twinned material and immaterial components of a performance. In this respect, Lewis-Harris's piece lends additional impetus to themes amply illustrated in Whincup's work and, in a quite different way, present in Zeplin's contribution as well. The material culture of dance performance is an integral part of the meaning-making practice of dance, while inhabiting and using dance costumes dances life and meaning into them.
    21. 'Culture Moves!' was a conference where representation was always going to be an issue: we faced the near-impossible task of negotiating and balancing Melanesia/Micronesia/Polynesia, tangata whenua/tangata o te moana nui a kiwa, independent Pacific/settler colonial Pacific, heritage/contemporary/street dance, academic/practitioner, male/female/liminal—even struggling to juggle the needs of conference participants and the needs of dozens of staff and student volunteers who made it all possible. We were certain we would get some things wrong and were pleasantly surprised by how much of the endeavour was a success. One measure of that success was the ripple effects of the conference that continue to occur. We were thrilled, for example, that similar types of Pacific and/or Maori dance gatherings were organised by 'Culture Moves!' participants in ensuing years. Choreographer Iosefa Enari's Pacific Dance Fono was convened in Auckland in 2006—and every year since—with a similar intention to bring various forms of heritage, contemporary and street dance practices into productive conversation, and continues to grow with substantial support from local and regional government and New Zealand's national arts funding body, Creative New Zealand. Lemi Ponifasio's MAU Forum also launched in 2006 and, like 'Culture Moves!' brought artists and intellectuals, academics and practitioners together for dialogue and debate. In 2009 Moana Nepia and Stephen Bradshaw, both of whom had participated in 'Culture Moves!', helped organise a Contemporary Maori Dance Summit: Aitanga Descendance.
    22. Further, individual dancers and choreographers and dance companies from across the region who met at 'Culture Moves!' have since collaborated. Darwin-based Julia Mageau Gray brought her contemporary Papua New Guinean Pacific choreography back to New Zealand as the featured choreographer at Enari's 2009 Pacific Dance Fono. B boy and funk style street dancer Future—who both performed and taught master classes at the conference—subsequently travelled to Hawai'i several times to perform, teach and tour with Pūpūkahi I Ke Alo O Nā Pua, the hula halau of Mid-Pacific Institute who performed at 'Culture Moves!' under the masterful direction of kumu hula Lanakila Casupang. Future also featured in the major international 2011 dance production Kowhiti in Wellington, the brainchild of contemporary choreographer Merenia Gray and her brother—another CM! participant—Tanemahuta Gray. In yet another connection between CM! panelists and performers, Hawaiian contemporary choreographer Peter Rockford Espiritu takes up the post of resident choreographer and artistic director at Fiji's Oceania Dance Theatre in 2011, taking over from another CM! artist, Allan Alo, who led ODT in their 'Culture Moves!' performances on an inspired opening night that also featured the Oceania Centre's founding Director, the late Professor Epeli Hau'ofa.
    23. One of our regrets is that while an abundance of photographic and video documentation was produced, no proceedings from 'Culture Moves!' were ever published. While this special issue features work from some of those that were involved in the conference and its accompanying exhibition (Kihara, Whincup), we place that work alongside contributions from others who did not attend (Buck, Lewis-Harris, Winarnita, Zeplin). This issue thus provides an opportunity to broaden our conversations beyond 'Culture Moves!', while explicitly reflecting on something that was implicit throughout the conference: namely, the specialness of dance as a field of practices where sustained attention to the body—how it moves, when it moves, where it moves, how it is disciplined, decorated, and displayed—enables rich opportunities for investigating questions of gender, culture, and identity in Oceania.


      All images are courtesy of Culture Moves 2005 with acknowledgement to photographers Chikako Yamauchi, Norman Heke and the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

      The editors would like to thank Margaret Jolly and Kalissa Alexeyeff for their invaluable comments and feedback on this issue, and to Nicholas Mortimer for his assistance with the conversion of video files. We'd like to especially thank Carolyn Brewer and all the contributors for their commitment to seeing the volume to its fruition.


      [1] Kalissa Alexeyeff, Dancing From the Heart: Movement, Gender, and Cook Islands Globalization, Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press, 2009.

      [2] Alexeyeff, Dancing From the Heart, p. 158.

      [3] Alexeyeff, Dancing From the Heart, p. 149.

      [4] Jane Moulin (1996). 'What's mine is yours? Cultural borrowing in a Pacific context,' in The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 8, no. 1 (1996): 128–53; Jeff Sissons, 'National movements: dance and nationhood in the Cook Islands,' in Sites, vol. 30 (1995): 153–64; Sissons, Nation and Destination: Creating Cook Islands Identity, Rarotonga: Institute of Pacific Studies and the University of the South Pacific Centre in the Cook Islands, 1999.

      [5] Alexeyeff, Dancing From the Heart, p. 159.

      [6] Sally Ann Ness, Body, Movement, and Culture: Kinesthetic and Visual Symbolism in a Philippine Community, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992, p. 3.

      [7] James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997; Nicholas Thomas, Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture, and Colonialism in the Pacific, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991.

      [8] Albert Wendt, 'Towards a new Oceania,' in Mana, vol. 1, no. 1: 49 –60, reprinted in Seaweeds and Constructions, vol. 7 (1976): 71–85, p. 76.

      [9] Clifford, Routes.

      [10] Kalissa Alexeyeff, 'Globalizing Drag in the Cook Islands,' in The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 20, no. 1 (2008): 143–61; Alexeyeff, Dancing From the Heart; Niko Besnier, 'Polynesian gender liminality in time and space,' in Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History, ed. Gilbert Herdt, New York: Zone Books, 1994, pp. 285 –328; Besnier, 'Sluts and superwomen: the politics of gender liminality in urban Tonga,' in Ethnos, vol. 62, nos 1 –2, (1997): 5–31; Besnier, 'Transgenderism, locality, and the Miss Galaxy Beauty Pageant in Tonga,' in American Ethnologist, vol. 29, no. 4 (2002): 534–66.

      [11] See Shigeyuki Kihara, 'Taualuga: the last dance / Shigeyuki Kihara,' in The Big Idea Te Aria Nui: Home of New Zealand's Creative Community, 24 August 2010, online:, accessed 4 November 2011.

      [12] Jennifer Shennan, 'The kinetic life of dance costumes,' in World Music is where we found it. Essays by and for Allan Thomas, ed. Wendy Pond and Paul Wolframm, Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press, 2011, pp. 162–72, p. 164.

      [13] Kolokesa Uafa Mahina-Tuai, 'Intangible Heritage: A Pacific Case Study at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa,' in International Journal of Intangible Heritage, vol. 1, no. 1 (2006): 13–25.

      [14] Tony Whincup and Joan Whincup, Akekeia!: Traditional Dance in Kiribati, Petone: Format, 2001.


Published with the support of Gender and Cultural Studies, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University.
© Copyright
Page constructed by Carolyn Brewer.
Last modified: 24 November 2011 1059