Mere “song and dance”: Complicating the multicultural imperative in the arts

From: Home and Native Land


However one understands multiculturalism in Canada, one of the shared features of its multiple definitions is diversity – what many would describe as the undisputed success of a multicultural policy. This chapter is a personal reflection on what diversity means in this context, with a particular and serious focus on the “song and dance” aspect of multiculturalism. While multiculturalism encourages cultural diversity, it correspondingly seeks to contain it. This chapter is intimately connected to some of the goals of multiculturalism while still being wary of its consequences, including the rigid classification of individuals and groups into predetermined categories.



Natasha Bakht

Natasha Bakht is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law. Natasha's research interests are in the intersecting areas of religious freedom and women's equality. Natasha is also an Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer.