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Dancing from the HeartMovement, Gender, and Sociality in the Cook Islands$
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Kalissa Alexeyeff

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832445

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832445.001.0001

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The Politics of Contemporary Dance

The Politics of Contemporary Dance

(p.57) Chapter Two The Politics of Contemporary Dance
Dancing from the Heart

Kalissa Alexeyeff

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines debates surrounding contemporary dance practice principally on the island of Rarotonga, where the contiguity between dance, government sponsorship, tourism, and other global forces gives these contests an urgency that is not experienced to the same degree on the outer islands. Its starting point is the contemporary dance scene on Rarotonga and the relationship between cultural producers and the tourist industry. While tourism is crucial to the performing arts, debates about the industry inflect local concerns about globalization and its impact on Cook Islands values. The main areas of concern that emerge are the perceived rise in individualism over communalism, the commodification of cultural forms, and the influence of religious belief in shaping moral evaluations of tradition and modernity. The chapter pays particular attention to the stark generational difference of opinion about tradition and modernity, and local and global, in contests about culture.

Keywords:   contemporary dance, Rarotonga, government sponsorship, tourism, globalization, Cook Islands values, tradition, modernity

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