Dance in the Weave of the City: A Proposal for Five Case Studies

By Dagmar Simon, Ralph Buck and Jennifer Hand.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Dance practices of diverse cultural dance forms are part of the fabric of Auckland communities. The research project introduced here explores whether and how these dance practices may contribute to learning about own culture and the culture of others, and whether and how participating in these dance practices may incite a felt connection for participants to Auckland as their city.
The study uses ethnographic research methods and narrative inquiry. It is underpinned by a holistic, non dualistic understanding of humans, uses a phenomenological approach to capture people’s lived experience and lastly frames dance as a socially and culturally constructed practice that is a major way of meaning making and learning. Additionally non-representational theory offers a framework to conceptualise cultural dance in Auckland as an urban practice that may have the potential to considerably add to the multi-cultural city of the future.
This article presents the themes and theories which I (Dagmar Simon) engaged with during the first year of my PhD and introduces the research design that I developed. The article’s authorship also acknowledges the input of my two supervisors (Dr. Ralph Buck and Dr. Jennifer Hand) as they have helped form and direct my questions and research.

Keywords: Cultural Dance as an Urban Practice, Cross-Cultural Encounters in the City, Multi-Culturalism, Dance as a Way of Knowing and Learning, Dance Ethnography, Non-representational Theory, Dance and Social/Cultural Geography, Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.201-214. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 947.303KB).

Dagmar Simon

Doctoral Student, Dance Studies, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

I have taught dance and movement practices in community settings and schools for almost 25 years; in the 1980s in Germany, and since 1990 in Auckland. For seven years I have tutored part-time in the Dance Studies department of the University of Auckland. Other interests of mine are: Tai Chi, health and well-being, and sustainability issues. My qualifications are: Masters of Creative and Performing Arts/1st class hons (The University of Auckland), Bachelor in Dance and Movement Education (Lola Rogge Schule, Hamburg), Bachelor in Social Work (Higher Technical College, Cologne).

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