On the Beach
On the Beach
This introductory chapter returns to Mamia's story and sets up the context for a much larger story in the history of the performing arts in the Cook Islands. It briefly captures the major themes underlying this book, such as gender, dancing, and the Cook Islands in the postcolonial context. Tying these themes together, the chapter suggests that dancing plays a key role in articulating the aesthetic, moral, political, and economic agendas of postcolonial Cook Islanders. The mediational power of expressive practices serves to engage local identities with broader global processes. One crucial aspect of this dialogue is that it is fundamentally gendered. Ideas about Cook Islands femininity and female dance practices are powerful conduits through which notions of Cook Islands locality, modernity, and globalization are explored.
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