"Floating Islanders: Pasifika theatre in Aotearoa"
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Citation:Byrnes, V.K. (2020). "Floating Islanders: Pasifika Theatre in Aotearoa" by Lisa Warrington & David O’Donnell. [Book review]. Recherche littéraire / Literary research. Automne/Fall, 36, 355-362. https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/47399/9782807616615.pdf;sequence=1
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5586
As you read this, somewhere in Aotearoa New Zealand a Pasifika theatre maker will be crafting a performance that reflects the unique experiences borne of the artist who navigates new domain. In doing so, this act of creation illuminates the possibilities of theatre as a site for change, adaptation, reframed identity, and an enlarged sense of belonging in new locations. For any first, second, or third generation migrant culture this means necessary and direct encounters with issues of liminality, resettlement, and the evolving connections to land, family, faith, the elements, spatiality, and even life force itself within a new broader culture. Arguably, with the pace of change we encounter in 2020 and beyond, these features must be faced head-on to bring theatre to contemporary audiences anyway, but they are particularly stark for cultures with an immigrant backdrop wedded to their story. There are rich biographies to unfold by spotlighting performing artists whose roots hark from across Oceania; Fiji, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Niue, and the Cook Islands, and of course Aotearoa. Pasifika theatre in New Zealand is an active, complex, and dynamic domain that has steadily built a legacy of storytelling to become a prosperous site of evocation and diverse theatrical production in the past few decades. David O’Donnell and Lisa Warrington’s timely book Floating Islanders: Pasifika Theatre in Aotearoa celebrates this complex array of voices and approaches as their text charts a course through Pasifika theatre styles and forms that constitute what can be seen as a fairly recent, thirty-year account of theatre making from 1984 to 2016. The authors define Pasifika Theatre as “live performance work created in Aotearoa / New Zealand by artists of Pacific Island ancestry” (9), and within this endeavour to unearth a unique array of subjective “islands” lies the clue to the book’s success. LOCAL NOTE: Second link below is for original book which is held by Unitec library at 792.089995093 WAR
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori Subject Headings):Tāngata o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa
Keywords:Aotearoa, New Zealand, Pasifika people in New Zealand, Pasifika theatre, talanoa (traditional method of face-to-face conversations), story telling, Pasifika, Pasifika drama, theatre
ANZSRC Field of Research:451313 Pacific Peoples music and performing arts, 360403 Drama, theatre and performance studies
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