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From hiva to hip-hop – dance in Oceania on show

15 September 2005

From hiva to hip-hop – dance in Oceania on show

The importance of dance to the survival of the cultures of the Pacific and Oceania will be the subject of a major international conference in Wellington later this year.

The conference and performance event, Culture Moves! Dance in Oceania from hiva to hip hop will be held at the Soundings Theatre, The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on November 9 – 11.

The conference will include panel appearances by local and international scholars, choreographers, musicians and museum specialists, master classes, and performances by dance companies from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Hawai’i, and the United States.

Convenor, Dr Katerina Teaiwa, an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai’i , says dance and music have always been central forms of physical, spiritual, political, artistic, and intellectual expression and communication throughout Oceania.

“Dance has often been described as the first means of communication and yet the study of dance has often been marginalised in academia and more work needs to be done that recognises its importance to the creative survival of Pacific peoples.

Fellow convenors, April Henderson, a Lecturer in Pacific Studies at Victoria University, and Sean Mallon, Senior Curator Pacific Cultures at Te Papa, say the conference will bring 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 and event have been organised by Victoria University’s Pacific Studies Programme, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai’i and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, with additional support from Creative New Zealand, the Pacific Co-operation Foundation, Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre, and the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

Keynote presentations will be given by Dr Epeli Hau’ofa, from the University of the South Pacific, and Dr Adrienne Kaeppler, from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

The conference will also include master classes by Neil Ieremia, of New Zealand’s acclaimed Black Grace dance troupe, and Suga Pop, from the Electric Boogaloos, and a dance notation workshop by Jennifer Shennan from Victoria University and Dr Judy Van Zile from the University of Hawai’i.

To register visit:


Issued by Victoria University of Wellington Public Affairs

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