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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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On the Beach

On the Beach

An Introduction

(p.1) On the Beach
Dancing from the Heart

Kalissa Alexeyeff

University of Hawai'i Press

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.

Keywords:   postcolonialism, Cook Islands, performing arts, Mamia Tunui Savage, gender, female dance, postcolonial Cook Islands, globalization, dancing, expressive practices, dance

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