Dancing After Dark
This chapter considers how Western nightclubs, music, and dance have been transformed and incorporated into Cook Islands performative contexts. Again, these more informal dance contexts are linked to evaluations of femininity and the construction of gender relations more broadly. The chapter explores how tāmataora and tārekareka, the pleasurable, genial aspects of social life, are configured and constructed after dark. Parties and events at nightclubs the author had attended in the Cook Islands aimed to achieve heightened states of happiness through drinking, dancing, and socializing, and yet many ended with drunken arguments, accusations, and sometimes physical fights. While such conflict is not considered ideal, it is commonplace. The embodied contradiction between the convivial and adversarial nature of collective participation fills out the picture of the gendered and exploratory aspects of Cook Islands performance contexts.
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