PhD in Dance Studies
Internationally, the award of a PhD from The University of Auckland is seen as recognition of real distinction in a specific area of study.
The PhD thesis is a formal and sustained exposition of a piece of advanced research work generally carried out over a period of three years. As a PhD student, you will have the opportunity to make an original contribution to knowledge in a specific field, and are required to meet internationally recognised standards for such work. A PhD is normally the foundation for an academic career.
In addition, the proposed introduction of creative practice within the PhD gives students the opportunity to incorporate creative work such as fine art, design, performance or film into their research. A creative practice PhD differs from a standard PhD in that it allows new cultural and artistic knowledge to be embodied or expressed through media other than text, along with a rigorous scholarly analysis of the significance of this knowledge in a 60,000 word thesis.
Note: Creative practice within the PhD is subject to final approval by The University of Auckland.
Dance Studies research at NICAI
In the Dance Studies Programme, the research environment supports local and international work and plays a significant role in artistic, cultural, educational and community environments. Our research covers a variety of disciplinary fields, with many staff incorporating practice as a research methodology.
NICAI's postgraduate programmes in Dance Studies are committed to developing new and innovative research and supporting emerging researchers within an active community, as well as through events such as the research seminar series Scopic Bodies.
New initiatives include the Choreographic Research Initiative (CRI), a platform for scholars and dance-makers from all over the world to collaborate and experiment; and Our Dance Stories, a major research project initiated by Associate Professor Ralph Buck and Dr Nicholas Rowe to build an archive of oral dance histories from the Pacific, Asia and the Mediterranean, and prepare them for publication.
Highlights of some current research programmes within the department are as follows:
Choreography as creative research. Dance Studies staff include practitioners with international profiles and strong connections within the creative industries.
Dr Carol Brown is an award-winning choreographer and artistic director renowned internationally for her collaborative performances. Current projects include Tongues of Stone, a multi-site event for the city of Perth, and Rhythms of a Lost Malady for Touch Compass Dance Company (NZ).
Award-winning choreographer Nicholas Rowe has worked with numerous ballet and dance companies in New Zealand and overseas. His research is focused on the choreographic voice of marginalised and traumatised communities.
Pei-Jung Lee has presented her works in the US and Taiwan. She was one of the resident choreographers in Young Asian Choreographer Projects 2007, Taiwan.
Research into dance in education.
Dance Studies staff play a major role in dance education research, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Ralph Buck has conducted research into curriculum development, pedagogy and dance in schools. Recent publications are focused on the teaching of dance, contemporary dance technique and dance stories.
Nicholas Rowe's investigation into the role of dance education in traumatised countries was selected by Research in Dance Education as one of the top ten articles of the last decade.
Research into dance and communities. The changing role of dance in local communities around the globe is a strong focus for several staff. View The Healing Art of Dance in our Communities
Nicholas Rowe has worked with indigenous and refugee communities in Palestine, and is currently producing the book Raising dust: a history of dance and social change in Palestine.
Ralph Buck has co-authored articles on experiential learning, taking the studio to the people and negotiating diversity in community dance.
Interdisciplinary performance. The impact of digital media and the cross-pollination of ideas through artistic collaboration provide rich research opportunities for many staff.
Mark Harvey has presented performance research that traverses visual arts and choreography in Europe, America, Australia and Asia, with such works as Tony and His Mirror shown at Trans in Madison, Wisconsin, 2006.
Alys Longley's recent interdisciplinary choreographies include Kinesthetic Archive (TAPAC, NZ 2006); Camper (Tempo Dance Festival 2007); and Suture (Maidment Theatre, NZ 2006).
Dance analysis, criticism and related discourse. Critical perspectives, including post-colonialism, phenomenology, feminism and post-structuralism, form lenses through which scholars contribute new knowledge to dance studies.
Carol Brown has published chapters on critical spatial practices in performance; on the artist Liz Aggiss of Divas; on dance and new technologies; and on feminist methodologies for dance.