Dr Karen Barbour is a senior lecturer in The Faculty of Education, The University of Waikato, New Zealand. She is committed to fostering qualitative dance research, specifically in feminist choreographic practice, contemporary dance, site-specific dance and digital dance. Karen has published in academic books and journals including Cultural Studies–Critical Methodologies, International Journal of Arts in Society, Brolga and Emotion, Space and Society. Karen is editor of Dance Research Aotearoa (http:www.dra.ac.nz), author of Dancing across the page: narrative and embodied ways of knowing (2011), and of edited book Ethnographic worldviews: transformations and social justice (Rinehart, Barbour & Pope, 2014).
The focus of this article is an initial investigation of general pedagogical approaches of local yoga teachers and their specific insights in working with dancers. I engage with broad themes of how we ‘contemporise the past and envisage the future’ as I explore the pedagogical challenges and transformations offered from learning about yoga pedagogy. Literature on yoga and dance pedagogy that focuses on experiential and embodied ways of knowing provides a broader context from which to understand my own and local teachers’ practices. Framed within feminist and phenomenological perspectives, I draw on the qualitative research method of in-depth interviewing in order to delve into yoga teacher’s lived experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand. I reflect on these interview findings to offer a consideration of pedagogical practices of yoga teachers in relation to dancers.
Karen Barbour, Senior Lecturer in dance at the University of Waikato (NZ), talks about her personal experiences and her ideas about the sustainability of collaborative dance ventures
From her research into the mehtods of capturing dance on camera, Karen concludes that with the expansion of film techniques and practices, the dancer/artist is enormously empowered. Her methodolgy offers a means to perform improvised dance for camera and to capture footage for editing into short digital dance works.
Reflecting research undertaken with third year Pakeha, Maori and Pacific Island students, I discuss issues of body, gender and culture in the tertiary dance studio. Discussions, choreographic and written assignments required students to explore their embodied experiences. Rich material drawn from students’ assignments, alongside my class plans and teacher’s reflections, are woven together in the form of an auto-ethnographic narrative. This narrative allows me to feature the students as characters and to discuss their specific experiences of masculinity and femininity, cultural difference and embodiment within their varied dance genres. Through this narrative I suggest that embodied ways of knowing may potentially support students to affirm their identity through dance.