Dancing Diplomacy: performance and the politics of protocol in Australia

Henry, Rosita (2011) Dancing Diplomacy: performance and the politics of protocol in Australia. In: Hviding, Edvard, and Rio, Knut M., (eds.) Made in Oceania: social movements, cultural heritage and the state in the Pacific. Sean Kingston Publishing , Wantage, UK, pp. 179-193.

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This book chapter provides a comparative analysis of a number of performance events revealing how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians innovatively draw on the power of performance to negotiate relationships among themselves and with the State. I explore the idea that the value of dance as diplomacy lies in its potential to hide as much as it reveals, through the analysis of three particular performance events that took place in three different political arenas, the local, the regional and the national. I begin with a birthday celebration on Thursday Island, Torres Strait, and then move on to a particular dance performed at the Laura Aboriginal Dance and Cultural Festival in Cape York. My final example concerns the opening of the Australian Federal Parliament in February 2008, when for the first time in Australian history, the official opening began with a traditional 'welcome to country' by Indigenous elders.

Item ID: 19558
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-907774-06-5
Keywords: Torres Strait, Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, cultural diplomacy, dance, festival, performance
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This work was also published as: Henry, Rosita (2014) Dancing diplomacy: performance and the politics of protocol in Australia. Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement, 21 (2).

Funders: Research Council of Norway (Grant No.185646), School of Arts and Social Sciences, JCU
Projects and Grants: Pacific Alternatives: Cultural Heritage and Politcal Innovation in Oceania
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2012 06:01
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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