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Palgrave Macmillan

Performing Indigenous Culture on Stage and Screen

A Harmony of Frenzy

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  • © 2016


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About this book

Examining corporeal expressions of indigenousness from an historical perspective, this book highlights the development of cultural hybridity in New Zealand via the popular performing arts, contributing new understandings of racial, ethnic, and gender identities through performance. The author offers an insightful and welcome examination of New Zealand performing arts via case studies of drama, music, and dance, performed both domestically and internationally. As these examples show, notions of modern New Zealand were shaped and understood in the creation and reception of popular culture. Highlighting embodied indigenous cultures of the past provides a new interpretation of the development of New Zealand's cultural history and adds an unexplored dimension in understanding the relationships between M?ori (indigenous New Zealander) and P?keh? (non-M?ori) throughout the late nineteenth and into the early twentieth centuries.


  • Performing Arts history
  • New Zealand
  • Maori
  • arts
  • cultural history
  • culture
  • dance
  • film
  • gender
  • history
  • Nation
  • performance
  • social science
  • sociology
  • stage


“In Performing Indigenous Culture on Stage and Screen: A Harmony of Frenzy, Marianne Schultz argues that performance is central to understanding the history of New Zealand … the book pushes the conversation about cultural performance forward and succeeds in making her point that understanding New Zealand’s history requires an examination of Māori and Pākehā performance. Her approach will be particularly helpful to scholars interested in researching how embodied cultural practices shaped conceptions of race and nation … .” (Joanna Das, H-ANZAU, H-Net Reviews, May, 2018)

“Schultz’s analysis is as comprehensive as it is impressive. Readers will appreciate the meticulous care taken in the footnotes (many of which will prompt readers to take Schultz’s ideas further). Moreover, by bringing readers to more contemporary performing arts … Schultz reminds us that the questions that lay at the heart of her text remain open and subject to our continued interrogation. … Schultz’s book is a valuable contribution that nudges historical and post-colonial debate in New Zealand … .” (Geoffery Z. Kohe, Dance Research Journal, Vol. 36 (01), 2018)

Performing Indigenous Culture is a highly original work where the author's unique background in performance is brought together with historical research. Another distinction of the book is Schultz's focus: New Zealand and New Zealand indigenous and settler performers. The thematic concerns that run through the settler/indigenous world across the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries delve into a realm in which contemporary notions of race, nation, and gender were rendered into popular form and found easy recognition, giving them both power and danger. This book offers important and accessible ways to bring sometimes complex questions to the fore – useful in extending knowledge in ways that enable global comparisons.' – Charlotte Macdonald, Professor of History, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

'Schultz presents an original, rigorous, yet engaging study of how shifting understandings of New Zealand identities have been embedded, embodied and performed. Drawing on extensive archival research across three continents, her investigations underline the continuing need for historical performance research into representations of indigenous cultures and their dissemination. Nuanced and penetrating in its analyses, the book is an important contribution to contemporary understanding and will undoubtedly stimulate fresh evaluations of race, gender and performance in global perspective.' – Theresa Jill Buckland, Professor of Dance History and Ethnography, University of Roehampton, London, UK

'What a treat to read this compelling performance history of popular entertainment. Schultz has teased out of the archives many details of a half-century of popular culture depicting M?ori performance—including the troublesome stereotyping and commodification in the acts, as well as the agency and opportunities they afforded M?ori performers. In focusing on the layered agendas and interwoven collaborations of M?ori and P?keh? in producing these shows andfilms, the book offers a complex view of the historical development of a 'culturally hybrid' New Zealand.' – Jacqueline Shea Murphy, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Dance Theory, University of California, Riverside, USA

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dance Aotearoa New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand

    Marianne Schultz

About the author

Marianne Schultz is Honorary Research Fellow in History at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is the Auckland Advisor for DANZ- Dance Aotearoa New Zealand. Marianne danced professionally in the United States and New Zealand and has taught for numerous companies and schools. Her articles and chapters on dance and the performing arts have appeared in Theatre Journal, Dance Research, Melbourne Historical Journal, New Zealand Journal of History, Brolga, Te Ara/ the Encyclopedia of NZ, Moving Oceans: Celebrating Dance in the South Pacific, and Staging the Other in Nineteenth-Century British Drama.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Performing Indigenous Culture on Stage and Screen

  • Book Subtitle: A Harmony of Frenzy

  • Authors: Marianne Schultz

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan New York

  • eBook Packages: Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-59599-7Published: 04 February 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-349-72096-5Published: 14 April 2016

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIII, 242

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