Intercultural dance : exploring a Finnish migrant connection with indigenous cultures through dance

Alinen, Tiina (2013) Intercultural dance : exploring a Finnish migrant connection with indigenous cultures through dance. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This research is a dance-based, autoethnographic study which explores my connection with place as a Savolainen woman born on Kalkadoon country; an Australian-born Finn. Edward Relph states 'the more profoundly inside a place the person feels, the stronger will be his or her identity with that place' (1976, 49). I am interested in how a sense of "place identity" has informed my choreographic practice. Autoethnography is important because it places the research within a lived experience: my insider account of a lived experience within the White Australia Policy through my lens as a first generation Australian-born Finn. It also speaks to the space in-between for those, like me, who feel they do not fit into mainstream identity but look like they do.

By exploring my lived experience through dance autoethnography, new understandings of my place identity within a cultural, social and political context have emerged. Ellis and Flaherty state ‘subjectivity is situated such that the voices in our heads and the feelings in our bodies are linked to political, cultural, and historical contexts’ (1992, 4). In order to begin my rehearsal process, I wanted a cultural framework which related to connection with land to guide the research. My investigations led me to the Maori examples of "Tikanga Maori" (Tikanga are the customs and traditions), in particular the "Pepeha" (Introduction) and allowed me to challenge my choreographic practice through this cultural framework.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 61062
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Boughen, Shaaron & Moetara, Teina
Keywords: autoethnography, artistic practice, place identity, contemporary dance, cultural framework, choreographic processes, performance space
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 02 Jul 2013 01:59
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2017 14:43

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