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UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre

UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1991: University Musical Society -- American Indian Dance Theatre image
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Season: 112th
Concert: Thirty-fourth
Power Center For The Performing Arts Ann Arbor, Michigan

Hanay Geiogamah, Director Barbara Schwei, Producer, with Allen M. Shore
Monday Evening, March 25, 1991, at 8:00
Power Center for the Performing Arts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Company
Joe Bellanger Antoinette Benton-Banai Fred Bushyhead Fabian Fontenelle Darrell Goodwill Ernest Thomas Grant Kevin Haywahe Chester Mahooty
Spencer McCarty Kenny Merrick, Jr. Marty Pinnecosse Ramona Roach Eric Sampson George Shields Cassie Soldierwolf Elvira Spencer
Eddie Swimmer Morgan Tosee Sheila Tousey Norwyn Wesley Dwight Whitebuffalo Lloyd Yellowbird
Alan Adelman, Lighting Buddy Wilson, Stage Manager
Kevin Connaughton, Technical Director Grant Brittan, Production Assistant
This concert is presented as part of the Native American Indian Student Festival Week at the Univer?sity of Michigan. The University Musical Society extends special thanks to tonight's Philips Pre-concert Presentation speaker, Michael Dashner, Native American Representative, Office of Minority Student Services, U-M.
The American Indian Dance Theatre is represented by National Artists Management Co., New York. The American Indian Dance Theatre original recording is available on Broadway Limited Records.
Thirty-fourth Concert of the 112th Season Twentieth Annual Choice Series
Vocal Solo.........................Chester Mahooty
Soloist............................Ramona Roach
The spirit in the drum is awakened, and the dancer begins.
Grass Dance
Dancers ................Darrell Goodwill, Ernest Thomas Grant,
Marty Pinnecoose, Lloyd Yellowbird Drum ..............Joe Bellanger, Kenny Merrick, Jr., Eric Sampson
The grass dance is an ancient dance and the basis of many men's dances. In the Northern Plains, the elders would ask the young men to stomp down the tall grass to prepare the ceremonial clearing. The dance circle is formed.
The original outfits worn by dancers on these occasions were adorned with tufts of grass. Today, the grass tufts have been replaced by strips of cloth or yam to give the effect of rippling grass as the dancers move around.
Traditional Dance Suite
Men Dancers...........Fred Bushyhead, Kevin Haywahe, Eric Sampson,
George Shields, Morgan Tosee
Shield Dance..................George Shields, Morgan Tosee
Women Dancers .................Elvira Spencer, Sheila Tousey
Most dances are traditional, but in recent years, "traditional" has become a meaning for older dances and styles of dress. Men learned many dances and interpreted many things: the old myths, the hunt, animals. The dancers use three styles and rhythms: Sneak Up, Crow Hop, and Ruffle.
Until recently, women never appeared in the dance circle, especially as soloists. The first women wore buckskin outfits; others, later on, chose cloth dresses. Today, depending upon the region, women doing traditional dances will wear either buckskin or cloth.
Buffalo Dance
Dancers .................Fabian Fontenelle, Cassie Soldierwolf,
Sheila Tousey, Lloyd Yellowbird
Drum ...........................Chester Mahooty
From the Zuni Pueblo, this dance explores the relationship between man and animals. It is believed that one had to sacrifice so that the other might live. The buffalo gave himself so the people would have food, clothing, and tools to sustain life.
Drum Call
Soloists .....................Joe Bellanger, Eric Sampson
Hoop Dance
Soloist............................Eddie Swimmer
Drum ..............Joe Bellanger, Kenny Merrick, Jr., Eric Sampson
The shapes of the hoops tell stories; how all natural things are connected and change and grow. The dancer forms a butterfly, flowers, a turtle, an eagle, and more.
According to legend, the Hoop Dance came into being when the Creator answered a dying man's wish to leave something of himself on earth. The Creator gave him a hoop of wood and told him that for each living thing he could create, one more hoop would be added. As more hoops were added, he would become stronger. The dancer interprets this message by manipulating many wooden hoops to form the shapes of animals, flowers, and many other living things. This difficult dance demonstrates how all living things are interconnected in the physical world.
Mother Earth Round-Dance
Dancers ...........................The Company
Drum ..............Joe Bellanger, Kenny Merrick, Jr., Eric Sampson
This dance was called the Circle of Life or Owl Dance, because it was often performed at night.
Fancy Shawl Dance
Dancers.........Antoinette Benton-Banai, Ramona Roach, Elvira Spencer,
Cassie Soldierwolf, Sheila Tousey
Drum ..............Joe Bellanger, Kenny Merrick, Jr., Eric Sampson
This dance originated as the Butterfly Dance and is very popular today on the Northern Plains. When her male is killed in battle, the female butterfly mourns and goes into her cocoon, as interpreted with the shawl. Her emergence celebrates freedom and a new life.
Northwest Coast Suite
Dances in this suite are from the Northwest Coast, especially from the Makah Tribe of Neah Bay, Washington. In the longhouses throughout the coastal region, the people teach and tell stories based on myths and history, featuring characters from the animal kingdom and legends of whaling and hunting.
Paddle Dance
Dancers ..............Antoinette Benton-Banai, Fabian Fontenelle,
Darrell Goodwill, Kevin Haywahe, George Shields,
Cassie Soldierwolf, Elvira Spencer, Eddie Swimmer,
Morgan Tosee, Sheila Tousey
Prayer Song
Spencer McCarty
Raven Dance
Dancers....................Sheila Tousey, Lloyd Yellowbird
Spear Dance
Dancers ...........Fabian Fontenelle, Darrell Goodwill, Kevin Haywahe,
George Shields, Eddie Swimmer, Morgan Tosee
Sea Serpent Dance
Soloists ...............Antoinette Benton-Banai, Kevin Haywahe
Dancers ............Cassie Soldierwolf, Elvira Spencer, Sheila Tousey
Sparrow Dance
Dancers ...................Cassie Soldierwolf, Elvira Spencer,
Morgan Tosee, Lloyd Yellowbird
Songs Spencer McCarty with Eric Sampson
Memory Dance
Soloist............................George Shields
Shaman..........................Marty Pinnecoose
Drum ..............Joe Bellanger, Kenny Merrick, Jr., Eric Sampson
The dancer pays homage to the drum and remembers his ancestors.
Gourd Dance
Dancers ...........................The Company
Drum ..............Joe Bellanger, Kenny Merrick, Jr., Eric Sampson
Eagle Dance
Dancers .........Fred Bushyhead, Fabian Fontenelle, Ernest Thomas Grant,
Marty Pinnecoose, George Shields, Eddie Swimmer,
Dwight Whitebuffalo
Drum ...........................Chester Mahooty
The eagle is a sacred bird to all tribes and a symbol of great wisdom and power. It is believed that eagles are messengers between man and the Creator. The dance varies from region to region. The company presents two versions, one from the Northern Plains and one from the Zuni Pueblo.
Appreciation Song
Singers ...........Joe Bellanger, Chester Mahooty, Kenny Merrick, Jr.,
Eric Sampson, Lloyd Yellowbird A Warrior Society song from ancient times recalling 800 years of history, it is still sung today.
Apache Crown Dance
Dancers...........Fabian Fontenelle, Kevin Haywahe, Eddie Swimmer
Drum ............................Norwyn Wesley
Clown............................Morgan Tosee
The Mountain Spirits descend at certain times to bless the people and heal the sick. Apache medicine men perform this ceremony, which became the Mountain Spirit Dance or Crown Dance. The clown mimics and exaggerates the movements to aid in teaching.
Fancy Dance Suite
Soloists .................Fred Bushyhead, Ernest Thomas Grant,
Marty Pinnecoose, Dwight Whitebuffalo Drum ..............Joe Bellanger, Kenny Merrick, Jr., Eric Sampson
Based on traditional and Warrior Society dances, this dance has become a competitive dance for modem warriors; a moment in today's pow wow for the dancer to express himself with intricate footwork, spins, and brilliant plummage.
The dance circle continues.
American Indian Dance Theatre
The dancers and musicians of the American Indian Dance Theatre come from the Dakotas, the Southwest, Canada, and the Great Plains. They are Apache, Arapahoe, Assiniboine, Cherokee, Chey?enne, Cree, Chippewa, Comanche, Makah, Menominee, Navajo, Otoe, Pawnee, Sioux, Southern Ute, Stockbridge Munsee, Confed?erate Tribes of Warm Springs, Yakima, and Zuni, all joining together to share the rich heritage of their people.
The dances and music are traditional and authentic and have been given a new focus by placing them in a theatrical setting. There are ceremonial and seasonal dances, dances that are spiritual, social dances, and dances offering great individual expression. Company members are selected by pro?ducerfounder Barbara Schwei and director Hanay Geiogamah from the most important festivals, ceremonials, and pow wow compe?titions throughout the United States and Canada. Since its beginning in May 1987, the group has toured throughout the United States and made appearances abroad in France, Italy, Tokyo, the Persian Gulf states, North Africa, and Edinburgh.
In February 1990, the American Indian Dance Theatre was featured on public television's "Great Performances: Dance in America," marking the first time that an all-Native American dance company was fea?tured in a nationally televised special. The company also received a Grammy Award nomination that same year.
The company is directed by Hanay Geiogamah, a member of the KiowaDela-ware tribes. A playwright and director, he is artistic director of the Native American The?atre Ensemble in Los Angeles and a member of the Department of Indian Studies and Theatre Arts at the University of California-Los Angeles.
The tribal memberships of the dancers and musicians are as follows: Joe Bellanger, Chippewa
(Minnesota) Antoinette Benton-Banai, Ojibway
(Ontario) Fred Bushyhead, Cheyenne
(Oklahoma) Fabian Fontenelle, Zuni
(New Mexico) Darrell Goodwill, Sioux
(Saskatchewan) Ernest Thomas Grant, CherokeeNavajo
(North Carolina)
Kevin Haywahe, Assiniboine
(Saskatchewan) Chester Mahooty, Zuni
(New Mexico) Spencer McCarty, Makah
(Washington) Kenny Merrick, Jr., Sioux
(North Dakota) Marty Pinnecoose, Southern Ute
(Colorado) Ramona Roach, Navajo
(New Mexico) Eric Sampson, Yakima
(Washington) George Shields, PawneeOtoe
(Oklahoma) Cassie Soldierwolf, Northern Arapahoe
(Wyoming) Elvira Spencer, Navajo
(Colorado) Eddie Swimmer, Cherokee
(North Carolina) Morgan Tosee, Comanche
(Oklahoma) Sheila Tousey, MenomineeStockbridge
Munsee (Wisconsin) Norwyn Wesley, Apache
(Arizona) Dwight Whitebuffalo, Cheyenne
(Oklahoma) Lloyd Yellowbird, Cree
Origins and Background
"A man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until
after he has performed the vision on earth for people to see."
-Black Elk
American Indians have always regarded music and dance with special reverence. The dance not only fulfills a social pur?pose, it also is seen as a way to communicate with the forces of nature and the spirit. The dance is central to almost every major occasion celebrating or validating life's passage. It also is used to entertain, to teach, to tell stories, and even to drive away forces that bring on sickness and death.
As the visionary Black Elk proclaimed, dance is the medium through which visions must be shared.
The drum is used to accompany most dances. It is the foocal point of the dannce. According to legend, drums were once living creatures who sacrificed themselves for man to use. Drums, therefore, are made of life forces--animal hides, wood, clay. Each drum contains spirits inside, and the drummer moves them to come out for the dancers.
The music featured in this production includes old songs -some of which can be traced back for 600 years -as well as contemporary songs. Native American songs, both the new and the old, remind the people of their ancestors and their traditions. None of the songs are written down; instead, they are passed on from generation to generation through their performances at celebrations and tribal gatherings such as pow wows.
American Indians always danced within "the circle." In a recent book about Native American dance, John Tootoosis re?lates the meaning of the circle as described to him by his elders:
"In the days when the circle was com?plete, the two-legged people would dance for any reason at all, but always to celebrate life. They would wear the gifts of the four-legged and the winged ones, and in that way would draw their brothers and sisters into the circle. The circle of the dance is the circle of life -the Great Wheel of the Universe -the Medicine Wheel of all existence. So go to the drum in humility. What the Grandfather has ordained you must do; and as long as we do this, we will live, and the universe will
live, and the circle will be complete and strong."
Many modern dancers and choreogra?phers have been strongly influenced by Na?tive American dances and music. Martha Graham has said, "Indian dance is for aware?ness of life, complete relationship with that world in which he finds himself; it is dance for power, a rhythm of integration."
Jose Limon, another admirer of Native American dance, remarked: "What God wor?thy of the name can for long remain deaf or insensitive to the power and beauty and the aggregate will of an entire tribe, expressed in formidable dance" And Maria Tallchief, the Native American ballerina, has said: "The almost mystical reverence for nature is con?ducive to the making of a person who moves beautifully, a Dancer."

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