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. Currently he acts as UNESCO Chair in Dance and Social Inclusion. 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.
Nicholas gives regular public talks on the relationship between dance, communities and political contexts, with a particular focus on cultural hegemony and appropriation.
Nicolas is an international award-winning filmmaker, directing the feature-length films The Secret World and Dancing7Cities. He has also won institutional awards for teaching and research excellence, and has published extensively on dance, creativity, collaboration and education in diverse cultural contexts, within leading international academic journals.
He has also won institutional awards for teaching and research excellence, and 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 scholar at ArtsEqual/CERADA, University of the Arts Helsinki.
Liesl van der Merwe
Liesl van der Merwe is an associate professor in the School of Music at the North-West University, South Africa. She was awarded the degrees DMus in bassoon performance, MMus (cum laude), BMus Honours (cum laude), BMus (cum laude) and a PGCE at NWU.
Liesl started her music career as a bassoonist of the National Chamber Orchestra and music teacher at the International School of South Africa, Mahikeng. Thereafter, she was appointed as a music lecturer in the Faculty of Education Sciences at North-West University. From 2013-2017 Liesl was the director of the research niche area MASARA (Musical Arts in South Africa: Resources and Application).
Currently, she is a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher and grant holder of the NRF research project: Social Cohesion Through Community Music Engagement in South African Higher Music Education. She is also one of the volume editors of the forthcoming Peter Lang book: Ritualised Belonging: Musicing and Spirituality in the South African Context.
Her research interests lie in the fields of music and wellbeing, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, spirituality and lived musical experiences. She supervises qualitative postgraduate music studies in the field of music education and also teaches research methodology, music education and bassoon.
She has published articles in high impact journals such as Psychology of Music, Journal of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Education Research, Frontiers in Psychology and International Journal of Children’s Spirituality. She also performs in chamber music ensembles and is the conductor of the North West Youth Orchestra.