The soil in the lines of my mehndi: Toward a decolonial ritual choreographic methodology

  • Alesha Mehta The University of Auckland
  • Sarah Foster-Sproull The University of Auckland


This article explores instigating ritual movement practices as a decolonial approach to practice led research within a Western liberal arts context. By connecting ritual with movement through a decolonial lens, a choreographic methodology was explored to enable belonging, cultural identity and empowerment to evolve within postgraduate practice led research. Ritual movement processes may involve trial and error as well as deep experimentation to unveil and unpack decolonial experience. Building from student-centred personal reflections, this article proposes that ritual movement practice may allow for cultural representation, belonging and decoloniality to occur within a neoliberal educational context. To explore this realm a central query evolved, how might ritual movement practices instigate a decolonial student experience within postgraduate practice led research? 

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Author Biography

Sarah Foster-Sproull, The University of Auckland

Sarah Foster-Sproull is an acclaimed choreographer working in New Zealand and internationally. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland in the Dance Studies programme, and the Artistic Director of Foster Group Dance. Sarah is the first female Choreographer in Residence at the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Resident Fellow at the Centre for Ballet and the Arts at New York University 2020/2021 and a session choreographer for the New York Choreographic Institute. In 2019 Sarah was Director of Choreography for New Zealand’s largest performance event the World of Wearable Art (WOW). Sarah was Creative New Zealand’s Choreographic Fellow for 2017-2019, and has choreographic relationships with Footnote New Zealand Dance, The Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, Tamsyn Russell and DanceBase (Edinburgh), Guangdong Modern Dance Company (China), T.H.E. (Singapore), and VOU Dance (Fiji).

How to Cite
Mehta, A., & Foster-Sproull, S. (2021). The soil in the lines of my mehndi: Toward a decolonial ritual choreographic methodology . Journal for Research in Arts and Sports Education, 5(4).
Research Articles
ritual, decoloniality, creative practice, postgraduate research, choreography