Culture Moves 2005

The Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai'i, in collaboration with Pacific Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, devoted its 9-12 November 2005 conference to dance in Oceania. This was the first international conference on the topic that brought together choreographers, scholars, and performers of traditional, contemporary, and hip hop music and dance. This was also the first time that the annual Pacific Islands Studies conference was held overseas, and for this we chose the venue of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, a creative, vibrant and active center of Pacific arts. The gathering was convened at and co-hosted by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and included a dance costumes exhibition.

Dance and music have always been central forms of spiritual, political, artistic, physical and intellectual expression throughout Oceania. It is through dance in particular that those living in or connected to this ocean engage and reflect both their lived and ancestral worlds from Wellington, Los Angeles, and Sydney to Apia, Suva, and Tarawa. Yet the current scholarship on dance is often marginalized in the academy and more work needs to be done that recognizes the importance of dance to the creative survival of Pacific peoples. This conference brought together choreographers, dancers, composers, curators, costume makers, scholars, writers, musicians, and artists to participate in a discussion on the knowledge and practice of dance in Oceania across cultural, national, academic, and aesthetic boundaries.

The conference was co-convened by Dr. Katerina Teaiwa of the UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies, Ms. April K. Henderson of Victoria University of Wellington and Mr. Sean Mallon of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The co-conveners' background information can be found under the gallery .

Culture Moves: Pacific Dance Studies Resources

This website will continue to serve as a record of Culture Moves! and provide information, resources and images for the promotion and development of Pacific Dance Studies and dance practices across Oceania. Please submit postings, contact lists, images, bibliographies, events, and articles for this website to katerina.teaiwa@anu.edu.au



[1] From "Between our islands: dancing connections," by Katerina Teaiwa 2002.

Hula image by Michael Harada ©2004, dancers: Michael Lanakila Casupang and Kaohi Yojo, Mid-Pacific Institute of the Arts. Contemporary dance image by Tania Harris ©2004, dancer: Travis Khan, The New Zealand School of Dance.