Dr Rose Martin

PhD (Dance Studies); MCPA Dance Studies; PGDip Dance Studies; Diploma in Dance Performance


Rosemary Martin gained her formative dance training at the New Zealand School of Dance, Wellington, while also receiving dance learning and performing experiences in Australia, London, Canada and Japan. She subsequently worked with the Royal New Zealand Ballet as a dancer. Rose has extensive experience in research and teaching in the Middle East. She has taught at Cairo Modern Dance Company, Egypt; El-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe, Occupied Palestine; Jordanian National Dance Center, Jordan; Lebanese American University, Lebanon. Her articles are published in journals such as: Journal of Dance Education; Research in Dance Education; Higher Education, Research and Development; and Qualitative Inquiry. Rose is the author of Talking dance: Contemporary histories from the Southern Mediterranean (2014) with Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe and Associate Professor Ralph Buck, and the sole-author of Women, dance and revolution: Performance and protest in the Southern Mediterranean (2016). She has presented invited guest lectures at: University of the Arts Helsinki; Utrecht University; Beijing Dance Academy; Lebanese American University; Town House Gallery Cairo; World Dance Alliance Global Summits and Society of Dance History Scholars Conferences. Her research interests include dance education; dance ethnography; dance in post-colonial contexts; dance and politics and cross-cultural dance education.

Research | Current

My current research activities are focused around three major projects, the Academy of Finland Strategic Research Project ArtsEqual, the Talking dance: Contemporary histories of the Baltic Sea book and my ECREA project, Tracing dance stories: Cultural and political histories of dance in contemporary Syria.

Arts as Public Service: Strategic Steps towards Equality (ARTSEQUAL consortium, Principal Investigator: Professor Heidi Westerlund)

I, along with Associate Professor Ralph Buck and Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe, are invited international researchers on the Arts as Public Service: Strategic Steps towards Equality (ARTSEQUAL) project, which commenced in October 2015. Funded by the Academy of Finland this project consists of six research groups, and is led by the University of the Arts Helsinki and Principal Investigator Professor Heidi Westerlund.

The ARTSEQUAL project reinterprets the traditional position of the arts in Finland by regarding them as a basic service that should be available equally for all, and that contributes to well-being across a wide range of life domains. From the perspectives of equality and well-being, the project seeks to produce new knowledge on how already existing arts services can be developed in order to enhance citizen creativity and communal engagement. This project is unique internationally, and intends to contribute to education, arts and society both in Finland and also further afield. It will contribute to academic scholarship, government and global policies, strategies and practices.

Within this project I am working in the areas of acculturation in arts education and international education. With my expertise in international dance education and the teaching, learning and research of dance in diverse cultural contexts I can offer unique perspectives and theoretical foundations to the research. My research experiences will assist understandings of identity and culture in this project, with the view that both identity and culture are constantly changing and thus the concept of uniform culture must be re-defined and re-imagined. I am primarily engaging in ethnographic and narrative methods within this project.

Talking dance: Contemporary histories of the Baltic Sea (Principal Investigator: Dr Rose Martin)

I am Principal Investigator of the Talking Dance: Contemporary Histories from the Baltic Sea research project, leading a research team of seven (three UoA researchers: AP Ralph Buck, AP Nicholas Rowe, Sarah Knox, and four non-UoA collaborators: Prof. Eeva Anttilla, Prof. Charlotte Svendler Nielsen, Dr Tone Pernille Ostern, Petra Frank).

The Talking Dance book series investigates the diverse stories of dance artists, teachers and learners around the world, as they negotiate cultural modernity and globalization. The series is published by IB Tauris, London, and edited by Associate Professor Ralph Buck and Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe. This book, Talking Dance: Contemporary Histories from the Baltic Sea, will be the fourth book in the series. I am the author of one previous Talking Dance book, Talking Dance: Contemporary Histories from the Southern Mediterranean (2014). The Talking Dance book series has been received well globally, with many voicing that it fills a void within current dance literature. This multi-sited ethnographic research provides engaging points of departure into how contemporary communities function. The Talking Dance project seek to value personal narrative and experience, presenting a richness of diversity that will provide an academic readership with primary source material, critically edited to emphasize issues of topical socio-political and cultural relevance of a certain place and time. As the PI and author of this work I am engaging in the majority of the fieldwork, coordinating chapter contributions and development of the manuscript, which will be completed in December 2016, with an anticipated publication November 2017.

Tracing dance stories: Cultural and political histories of dance in contemporary Syria

This ECREA project traces the stories of Syrian dancers (performers, teachers and makers) who are currently in exile, exploring the research question: What are the cultural and political histories of dance in contemporary Syria?  The diverse dance cultures of Syria are internationally recognized as a form of intangible cultural heritage, reflecting complex social, ethical, political and embodied knowledge that is central to the sustenance of a cultural community. Similarly, the dance practices of dancers in Syria provide critical reflections and interpretations of Syrian civil society in the early 21st century. Unfortunately, the ongoing Syrian Civil War has disassembled Syrian dance communities and practices. Syrian dancers have been killed or displaced as internal and external refugees, and archives and cultural zones in Syria have been destroyed, damaged or looted as a result of the armed conflict.

This research is significant as it provides a lens through which to critically extend theory on cultural identity, acculturation and social inclusion. The study is timely due to the current implications of the Syrian Civil War on artistic practices - the destruction of cultural archives, the disbursement of dancers, and the need to document and share dance histories that may otherwise be lost. Through a multi-sited ethnographic narrative enquiry, engaging with interviews and film documentation, I will capture the dance stories of Syrian dancers to construct a pluralistic understanding of Syrian culture and society. An ethnographic mode of investigation will allow for rich descriptive narratives to emerge and stories to be told, in turn offering unique understandings of the relationship between dance, society and politics. Through documenting these diaspora voices and filming their ongoing re-imagining of dance and identity in their locations of exile, histories of dance in Syria will be continued, and insights into dance and the exile experience will be shared. By exploring Syrian dance history facing two ways, both pasts and futures can be re-imagined as a means of transcending the present.

It is clear that future reconstruction of Syrian civil society will require a critical historicizing of dance in Syria, extending beyond dominant political and cultural narratives, recognizing existing cultural pluralism. This research intends to fill a void within current discourse, contributing to new knowledge of dance, culture and politics in the Arab world. This project would utilize funding to engage in fieldwork to gather the stories from those within Syrian diaspora populations, and to construct creative dance documentaries. The expected outcomes include one book publication on the dance histories of Syria, two short films documenting the ongoing dance practices in locations of exile, and one short film documenting the field research journey.

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD supervision:

Sophie Williams - Fostering indigenous performative knowledge (co-supervision with Dr. Arapera Ngaha)

Nicole Pereria - Community dance, leadership and worship (co-supervision with AP Nicholas Rowe)

Jin Jin - Dance education in China and NZ (co-supervision with AP Ralph Buck)

Pauline Hiroti - Dance and youth at risk (co-supervision with AP Ann Sullivan)

Kristie Mortimer - Dance in Prisons (co-supervision with AP Nicholas Rowe)

Teuila Hughes - Pacific Dance Education (co-supervision with AP Nicholas Rowe)

Sarah Gamarie - Anthropology of French Polynesian dances abroad (co-supervision with AP Ralph Buck)


Current Masters supervision:

Johanna Claus - Te Hononga: An intergenerational site-responsive performance (co-supervision with AP Carol Brown)

Sarah Foster-Sproull - Dance and copyright (co-supervision with AP Nicholas Rowe)

Completed Masters supervision:

Natalie Schiller - A female, a pole, a cross (creative practice Masters completed 2015)


2016 - University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award

2015 - Creative Arts and Industries Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Areas of expertise

Dance ethnography

International dance education

Dance, culture and politics

Narrative inquiry in dance

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Martin, R. K. (2016). Women, dance and revolution: Performance and protest in the Southern Mediterranean. London: IB Tauris. Pages: 199. Related URL.
  • Rowe, N., & Martin, R. (2015). Dancing onto the page: Crossing an academic borderland. Waikato Journal of Education, 19 (2).10.15663/wje.v19i2.96
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26443
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicholas Rowe
  • Rowe, N., Buck, R., & Martin, R. (2015). The gaze or the groove? Emerging themes from the New Meanings and Pathways: Community Dance and Dance Education Symposium in Beijing. Research in Dance Education, 16 (2), 184-197. 10.1080/14647893.2014.985200
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26181
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ralph Buck, Nicholas Rowe
  • Martin, R. K. (2015). The politics of dance education in post-revolutionary Cairo. In C. Svendler Nielsen, S. Burridge (Eds.) Dance Education around the World: Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change (pp. 64-67). Abingdon: Routledge. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26449
  • Knox, S., & Martin, R. K. (2014). Artist voices and biographies. In R. Buck, N. Rowe (Eds.) Moving Oceans: Celebrating dance in the South Pacific. New Delhi, India: Routledge India.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26448
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sarah Knox
  • Martin, R. K. (2014). Never far from dancing: Ballet artists in new roles by Barbara Newman. Routledge, 2014. (Book review). Journal of Dance Education, vol. 14, issue 4, 14 (4), 155-156. 10.1080/15290824.2014.899022
  • Martin, R. K. (2014). Weaving past and present: Contemporising dance education in Ramallah, the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Paper presented at World Dance Alliance (WDA) Global Summit 2014, Angers, France. 6 June - 11 June 2014. Related URL.
  • Rowe, N., Buck, R., & Martin, R. K. (2014). Talking Dance: Contemporary Histories from the Southern Mediterranean. London: IB Tauris. Pages: 256. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26220
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ralph Buck, Nicholas Rowe

Contact details

Primary location

Level 5, Room 504
New Zealand