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Changing Contexts, Shifting MeaningsTransformations of Cultural Traditions in Oceania$
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Elfriede Hermann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833664

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833664.001.0001

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Moving onto the Stage

Moving onto the Stage

Tourism and the Transformation of Tahitian Dance

(p.195) Moving onto the Stage
Changing Contexts, Shifting Meanings

Miriam Kahn

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter looks at some of the transformations that occurred in Tahitian dance from the eighteenth century (when European explorers first landed in Tahiti and two Tahitian men sailed back with them to Europe) to the twenty-first century (when Tahitians travelled around the world and danced at tradeshows to entice tourists to visit Tahiti). It explores how cross-cultural exchanges, shifting historical contexts, and especially the growth in tourism after the 1960s have impacted Tahitian dance. Over the centuries Tahitians have always developed new dances, songs, and costumes in creative ways. Tourism, however, has encouraged Tahitians to also choreograph dances that directly respond to tourists' expectations of experiencing a predictable, spectacular, photogenic show.

Keywords:   Tahitian dance, tourism, dance traditions, European explorers, Tahiti

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