Dancing through the dissonance

Creative movement and peacebuilding

By Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

Dancing through the dissonance


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4339-6
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: May 2020
  • BIC Category: The arts / Dance & other performing arts, Society & social sciences / International relations, International Relations, PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Peace studies & conflict resolution


Conflicts are increasingly recognised as situated in local contexts with culturally specific elements playing important roles. At the same time, conflicts reflect and contribute to global dynamics. Seeking peace within this complexity requires curious, creative and critical approaches that can account for politics.

But how can peacebuilders account for unique local settings while also recognising multiple and diverse perspectives within and between them? Reflecting on this question, Dancing through the dissonance explores the relationship between peacebuilding and dance in pluralist societies, examining the practice of dance-focused peacebuilding programmes in Colombia, the Philippines and the United States. Incorporating participant voices, critical political analysis and reflections on dance practice, the authors reveal the implications and nuances of arts-based peace initiatives.

This book offers a unique insight into the application, practice and analysis of dance-focused peacebuilding programmes, building on a critical understanding of the politics of integrating dance into peacebuilding and the ways in which these programmes fit into global debates around peace and conflict.

As the global community continues to seek inclusive pathways to peace that improve upon, supplement, or replace existing dominant approaches, this book provides a valuable in-depth analysis and recommendations for arts-based peacebuilding approaches.


1 Finding our rhythm: Why and how to think about dance and peace
2 Young people as peer leaders for peace: Emerging strategies
3 Local/global dance 'hubs' for peace
4 Finding empathy and practising peace through dance: Through a mirror darkly?
5 Embodying peace: Prospects for self-care within conflicted settings


Lesley Pruitt is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia

Erica Rose Jeffrey is a Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Institute, Australia

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