Research into dance and communities

The changing role of dance in local communities around the globe is a strong focus for several staff.

A book series entitled Talking Dance is a major research project involving Associate Professor Ralph Buck, Dr Nicholas Rowe and Dr Rosemary Martin, bringing together the experiences of people and dance in less-researched areas of the globe.

Adopting a post-national, post-salvage paradigm, this series deconstructs cultural stereotypes, hierarchies and assumptions associated with the role of dance in diverse societies. It draws on interviews with hundreds of individuals engaging in dance in a broad spectrum of locations, from state opera houses to refugee camps.

Their personal narratives reveal the multiplicity and complexity of how creative, moving bodies engage with social, political and geographic environments around the world. The series seeks to decentralise global discourse on dance, and emphasise the dynamic, hybrid and interconnected processes of dance in the majority of the world.

The first book Talking Dance: Contemporary Histories in the Southern Mediterranean was published in April 2016, and the following two in the series, on the South Pacific and South China Sea, are due out in 2019.

Nicholas Rowe has also worked with indigenous and refugee communities in Palestine, and has recently published the book Raising dust: a history of dance and social change in Palestine.

Ralph Buck has co-authored articles on experiential learning, taking the studio to the people and negotiating diversity in community dance.

Can dance help us communicate better?

Ever wonder if there's a better way to break down barriers when engaging different groups of people?

Find out how University of Auckland researcher, Associate Professor Ralph Buck, is investigating the ability of dance to close cultural, age, gender, health and social gaps.