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Panel Discussion: Performance Politics

Tue, March 2nd, 2010
12:00 am

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Panel Discussion: Performance Politics

New Oceania, Dance and Resistance

Panel framing concept:

“As contemporary dance groups become established and accepted widely in the Pacific, they begin to destabilise deep-seated notions that Pacific Islanders should only concern themselves with the dance forms of their specific cultures and refrain from venturing into dance traditions that are not theirs.

“The result of this progressive ideology is that the focus is now shifting away from ethnicity or race; boundaries that have separated Pacific Islanders and other kin in the past are now crumbling. A new Oceania is emerging — one in which we are all connected — and the dance program at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture is at the forefront of this development…

“…as a result of a history of colonisation in Oceania, Pacific Islanders have been preoccupied with a culture of survival as they adapted to realities imposed on them by their oppressors. The time has come…for Pacific Islanders to work towards a culture of freedom so they can define and represent who they are rather than have foreign powers continue to do so for them…”

(Vilsoni Hereniko, Dancing Oceania)


Neil Ieremia, Artistic Director of Black Grace, Vilsoni Hereniko, Director and Professor Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaii

Adria Imada, Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies, UC-San Diego

Moderated by Arif Smith Assistant Director of the MultiCultural Center.

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