The Gaze or the Groove? Emerging Themes from the New Meanings and Pathways: Community Dance and Dance Education Symposium in Beijing
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionResearch in Dance Education. 2015, 16 (2), 184-179. 10.1080/14647893.2014.985200
Established in 1954 and drawing heavily on dance conservatory models from Russia, the Beijing Dance Academy (BDA) has become a predominant influence on dance education in East Asia. As it addresses the artistic, cultural and educational needs of China into the twenty-first century, the BDA is now negotiating a new terrain and seeking new pedagogical strategies. Investigating similar issues, the Dance Studies Programme at the University of Auckland has become a research hub for applied uses of dance in community and educational contexts. This article critically reflects on a dialogue held between these two institutions, on the meanings, functions and future directions for dance in education and the community. This includes a historical analysis of the term ‘community’ in English and Mandarin, a political analysis of possible relationships between dance and a community (drawn from different UNESCO mandates), and a pedagogical analysis of educational strategies employed within dance in community contexts. Queries emerge regarding the potential challenges and opportunities of intercultural education in dance education. Through historicizing the cultural, political and pedagogic environments of the two institutions, the authors hope to provide some clarity around differences and commonalities, and consider how this institutional dialogue might provide a platform for further intercultural collaboration.