Associate Professor Nicholas Gordon Rowe
Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe is a graduate of the Australian Ballet School and holds a PhD from the London Contemporary Dance School, University of Kent at Canterbury. He has choreographed and performed with The Finnish National Ballet, Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Nomad Dance Theatre, Modern Dance Turkey and Ramallah Dance Theatre. From 2000-2008 Nicholas resided in the Occupied Palestinian Territories working in refugee camps on dance projects with local artists, and he continues to maintain an active practice as a community dance animateur in diverse regions of the world (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SgjIsfjyZc). Nicholas gives regular public talks on the relationship between dance, communities and political contexts, with a particular focus on cultural hegemony and appropriation (hear: https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/raising-the-bar/audio/2018685657/raising-the-bar-cultural-appropriation-is-always-political-says-nicholas-rowe)
Nicholas’ own film work includes directing the feature-length films The Secret World and Dancing7Cities. He has published extensively on dance, creativity, collaboration and education in diverse cultural contexts, within leading international academic journals. His books include Talking Dance: Contemporary Histories from the South China Sea (2015) Talking Dance: Contemporary Histories from the Southern Mediterranean (2014), Moving Oceans: Celebrating Dance in the South Pacific (2013), Raising dust: a cultural history of dance in Palestine (2010), and the performing arts workshop manual Art, during siege (2004). Nicholas is currently an adjunct professor at the College of Chinese and ASEAN Arts, University of Chengdu, and a visiting professor at ArtsEqual/CERADA, University of the Arts Helsinki.
Research | Current
- Dance in communities and education
- Dance and politics, leadership and inclusion
- Dance research and tertiary education
- Dance and digital technology
Critical Studies in Dance Leadership and Inclusion
Dancers, choreographers, dance teachers and dance organizations are increasingly engaged in advancing social inclusion agendas within diverse parts of the world. In alignment with global and regional policies, these arts programmes respond to governance challenges associated with health, education, security, the environment and the economy. This raises critical questions regarding how and why dance practitioners should engage with socio-political endeavours. To explore these, Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe, Professor Kai Lehikonen at the University of the Arts Helsinki and Associate Professor Tuomoceiran Heyang at the University of Chengdu are series editors of the new book series Critical Studies in Dance Leadership and Inclusion, published by Palgrave Macmillan in English and Mandarin.
This open book series brings a critical lens to this growing field of artistic endeavour, with each volume examining how a particular dance organization or dance leadership practice has fostered inclusion and contributed to community resilience. Gathering dance programmes from diverse parts of the world, the series provides illustrations of distinct creative, pedagogic and organizational practices that foster inclusion, and situates these practices within contemporary theories of the arts, culture, education, leadership and sociology.
Supported by the University of Auckland Faculty Research Development Fund, the university of Chengdu and ArtsEqual, Academy of Finland.
Nicholas’s most recent feature-length documentary film Dancing7Cities journeys through seven cities to explore how very diverse dancers respond to their urban landscapes. Filmed in Laos, Fiji, Lebanon, Italy, Palestine, Finland and Australia, this dance documentary weaves performances from marginalized community groups, to question how dancing together can foster a sense of belonging. This film features performers from Court di Miracoli, Siena, Lao Bang Fai, Vientiane, The Grey Panthers, Darwin, VOU, Suva, University of the Arts, Helsinki, Markez al Arabieh Filistiniyah, Beirut, and El-Funoun Popular Dance Troupe/Bara’em, Ramallah.
Supported by an Early Career Research Excellence Award, University of Auckland.
As a cross-disciplinary research project with the Faculty of Engineering, Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe has led a research team investigating the facilitation of collaborative learning (in the form of small group assessment tasks). While industry has identified collaboration as a key graduate attribute, teaching collaboration can be challenging for teachers used to teaching discipline content and skills. This research project has developed and trialled transferable pedagogical frameworks that enable peer-to-peer collaboration, focusing on the development of collaborative dexterity as a learning outcome, not simply a learning tool.
Supported by a Learning Enhancement Grant from the University of Auckland.
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Rowe, N. G., McMicken, D., & Newth, T. (2019). Dancing in the setting sun: Performance, self-actualization and the elderly. In K. Bond (Ed.) Dance and the quality of life (pp. 527-544). New York: Springer.
- Anttila, E., Siljamäki M, & Rowe, N. (2018). Teachers as frontline agents of integration: Finnish physical education students’ reflections on intercultural encounters. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 1-14. 10.1080/17408989.2018.1485141
- Rowe, N., Martin, R., Buck, R., & Antilla, E. (2018). Researching dance education post-2016: The global implications of Brexit and Trump on dance education. Research in Dance Education, 19 (1), 91-109. 10.1080/14647893.2017.1354839
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ralph Buck, Rose Martin
- Rowe, N., Baker, N., & Khatab, A. (2017). The shape of water…Palestine, Badke and Let’s Make Noise for Gaza: Three journeys of intercultural choreographic practice in Palestine. In S. Erenrich, J. Wergin (Eds.) Grassroots leadership & the arts for social change (pp. 281-297). Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.
- Rowe, N. (2016). Threshold concept theory and nonformal education: Community-based arts learning in Palestine. Educational Research for Social Change, 5 (1), 94-106. 10.17159/2221-4070/2016/v5i1a6
- Rowe, N. G. (2016). Access Denied and Sumud: Making a Dance of Asymmetric Warfare. Choreographies of 21st Century War. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Zeitner, D., Rowe, N. G., & Jackson, B. (2016). Embodied and embodiary leadership: Experiential learning in dance and leadership education. Organizational Aesthetics, 5 (1), 167-187. Related URL.
- Rowe, N., Martin, R., Knox, S., & Mabingo, A. (2016). Refugees, migrants, visitors and internally displaced persons: Investigating acculturation in academia. Higher Education Research and Development, 35 (1), 58-70. 10.1080/07294360.2015.1121210
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rose Martin, Sarah Knox