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    A delegation of students and faculty staff representing the University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries (NICAI) visited Peking University on 25 May 2010. Led by NICAI’s Associate Dean (Postgraduate) Dr Nicholas Rowe, the delegation embarked on a busy day of activities in which they met with senior PKU faculty, presented a seminar, held a Māori dance workshop, and participated in a specially-organised joint dance performance with Peking University’s student dance troupe.

    NICAI brings together a number of the University of Auckland’s schools and departments, including the School of Architecture, Department of Dance Studies, Elam School of Fine Arts, and the School of Music. The delegation’s representatives were primarily from Dance Studies and Music.

    Dr Rowe met with Prof Zhang Xiaoli, Head of PKU’s School of Arts, Prof Lu Bin, Director of PKU’s Urban Planning and Design Centre, and other PKU senior faculty staff. Dr Rowe also presented a seminar on his research into the history and practice of dance in Palestine, the subject of his new book, Raising Dust.

    Throughout the day, the student representatives from NICAI engaged with and gave back to their hosts at Peking University. They ran a one-hour workshop in traditional Māori and Pacific dance, which was well-attended by members of PKU’s student dance troupe, as well as other student dance enthusiasts.

    In the evening, the PKU Office of International Relations and the NZ Centre co-organised a dance performance showcasing the NICAI dance students and PKU student dance troupe. Reflecting New Zealand’s cultural diversity, the New Zealand dancers performed two dance works – one which highlighted traditional Māori dance and music, and another which weaved together threads of Māori, Pacific and contemporary New Zealand movement into a beautiful, dynamic and multicultural whole. In the spirit of cultural exchange, the evening also included a number of mesmerising performances by PKU student dancers, including both traditional dances and also more modern works.

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