Movement, Gender, and Cook Islands Globalization

Dancing from the Heart: Movement, Gender, and Cook Islands Globalization, by Kalissa Alexeyeff, is the first study of gender, globalization, and expressive culture in the Cook Islands. It demonstrates how dance in particular plays a key role in articulating the overlapping local, regional, and transnational agendas of Cook Islanders. Alexeyeff reconfigures conventional views of globalization’s impact on indigenous communities, moving beyond diagnoses of cultural erosion and contamination to a grounded exploration of creative agency and vital cultural production.

Dancing from the Heart is written from the heart. This book is a wonderful evocation of contemporary Polynesian life, joy, and loss. Yet it is also analytically adventurous. Cook Island dance becomes a lens through which questions of gender, performance, embodiment, and globalization come into focus in novel ways. This is surely one of the finest of recent Pacific ethnographies.” —Nicholas Thomas, Univeristy of Cambridge

March 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3244-5 / $55.00 (CLOTH)