Performance in Australia, Aotearoa and the Pacific

Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker, Maryrose Casey, Diana Looser , David O’Donnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides a sample of the breadth of performance traditions, practices and contemporary innovations from the peoples of numerous nations located on more than 25,000 islands across the Pacific, the island continent of Australia and the country of Aotearoa/New Zealand. These islands, large and small, spread out over more than 170 million square kilometres, have rich and varied histories of performance practices in cultures where choreographed performance has always been part of every aspect of life and social engagement. Traditionally, performance was a means through which peoples learned who they were and about their land and traditions. It was also an important part of communicating and representing identities and cultures to external communities. After European colonization of many of these lands, performance continued to play an important role in negotiating encounters and the aftermath of often violent settlement. Contemporary performance carries on intangible cultural heritages, filling a key role in reclaiming cultural practices and asserting cultural survival.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerformance and Knowledge
EditorsG. N. Devy, Geoffrey V Davies
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003105589
ISBN (Print)9780367615765, 9780367252977
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameKey Concepts in Indigenous Studies


  • social and cultural anthropology
  • tribal studies
  • sociology and social exclusion studies
  • cultural studies
  • media studies and performing arts
  • literary and postcolonial studies
  • religion and theology
  • politics
  • Third World and Global South studies
  • indigenous communities.


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