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Dossier Du corps à l’image. La réinvention des performances culturelles en Océanie

Performing Place: Tourism and Touring with the Leweton Cultural Village

Thomas Dick
p. 55-55


Embodying dual legacies (ancestral and colonial), communities throughout the Pacific Islands are configuring and re-configuring themselves, their cultures and, consequently, the world around them. This article examines the performative articulation of cultural heritage in Northern Vanuatu. Taking the case of the Leweton cultural village – performers of the Vanuatu Women’s Water Music – this article explores the deliberative creation of diasporic identities. The process is complexified by the intangible and mobile elements of the water music as Leweton is a destination for tourists visiting the islands of Vanuatu, as well as an ensemble often on tour performing at international festivals and events.

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Approach and Method
Beginnings, Chorography and Coactivity
Mwerlap Sites of Articulation: Local, National, International
The Local Conjuncture: Merelava to Gaua = Mwerlap
The National Conjuncture Phase 1: Mwerlap to Luganville = Leweton
The National Conjuncture Phase 2: Leweton to Vila = Dungnao
The International Conjuncture: The Leweton Cultural Experience
Discussion and Deferral

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In September 2015, a conference held in Fiji titled Scripting the Development Narrative Through Indicators and Dance brought together a range of people to explore alternative approaches to development in Melanesia (see Cullwick, 2015). There is a real flourish to this title – a jouissance – intensified by an academic over-exposure to less-transgressively-titled research conferences. There is something of an intergrading chiasmus in the effortless transition from the literal to the corporeal, from mimesis to kinesis scripting… narrative … dance that lends a poetic quality to the quantitative neo-liberal development … indicators. One can imagine an undergraduate program in a liberal arts faculty called Scripting (or Choreographing?) the Development Narrative Through Dance. It is somewhat harder to imagine an economics program called Dancing Development Indicators.

This knowing misapprehension is reminiscent of the (misapprehended) idea of the develop-man epoch (Sahlins, 1993: 17)...

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Bibliographical reference

Thomas Dick, « Performing Place: Tourism and Touring with the Leweton Cultural Village », Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes, 142-143 | 2016, 55-55.

Electronic reference

Thomas Dick, « Performing Place: Tourism and Touring with the Leweton Cultural Village », Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes [Online], 142-143 | 2016, Online since 31 December 2018, connection on 26 April 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/jso.7465

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About the author

Thomas Dick

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