UMS Concert Program, October 31, 1992: University Musical Society -- The American Indian Dance Theatre
Power Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University musical Society
The American Indian Dance Theatre
Hanay Geiogamah, Director
Barbara Schwei, Producer
in association with
Allen M. Shore
Alan Adelman, Lighting Designer
Kevin Connaughton, Lighting Director
Buddy Wilson, Stage Manager
Saturday Evening, October 31, 1992, at 8:00 Power Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bill Baker, Manda Hidatsa from North Dakota
Leslie Barichello, Creek from Oklahoma
Joe Bellanger, Chippewa from Minnesota
Rudy Bob, Navajo from Arizona
Derrick Davis, Hopi Choctaw from Arizona
Fabian Fontenelle, Zuni from New Mexico
Darrell Goodwill, Sioux from Saskatchewan
Ernest Grant, CherokeeNavajo from North Carolina
Leslie Hemlock, Seneca from New York
Chester Mahooty, Zuni from New Mexico
Kenny Merrick, Jr., Sioux from North Dakota
Sherwin Obey, Cree from Montana Keredith Owens, Cherokee from North Carolina Marty Pinnecoose, Southern Ute from Colorado Cassie Soldierwolf, Northern Arapahoe from Wyoming Eddie Swimmer, Cherokee from North Carolina Bonnie Tomahsah, Comanche from Oklahoma Gary Tomahsah, Comanche from Oklahoma Morgan Tosee, Comanche from Oklahoma Devere Tsatoke, Kiowa from Oklahoma Dwight Whitebuffalo, Cheyenne from Oklahoma Lloyd Yellowbird, Cree from Alberta
Press Counsel: Les Schecter, Schecter Communications Production Assistant: Mark Abbott
Legal: Jerold Couture
Accounting: John Yavroyan Company
Licensing: J. G. Stanley
Bill Cranmer, Kwakiutl Nation
Bill Crouse, Seneca Barly Dana, Penobscot
Spencer McCarty, Makah
Eastern Woodlands Suite design by Peter Jemison
Northwest Coast Suite curtain by Kate McDermott
Eastern Woodlands Traditional Outfits designed by Irene Fredericks
The Eastern Woodlands Suite was commissioned through the combined efforts of the New England Presenters, Inc., University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Friends of Jorgenson at University of Connecticut.
American Indian Dance Theatre original cast recording available on Broadway Limited Records.
The University Musical Society thanks Mr. Michael Dashner and the U-M Native American Dance Troupe for their Philips Pre-concert Presentation October 25.
Tenth Concert of the 114th Season
22nd Annual Choice Series
The elders remember the old ways, the traditions and their ancestors, and give the songs and dances to the younger generation.
In the northern plains, the elders would ask the young men to prepare the ceremonial clearing. The dancers' movements simulate the tall rippling grass as they stomp down the space. The dance circle is formed.
TRADITIONAL DANCE SUITE
Men learned many dances and interpreted many things in dances: the old myths, stories of the hunt and of animals. A warrior fell in battle many years ago, but his spirit remains. The women in the buckskin dresses represent some of the earliest participation by women in the dance circle.
EASTERN WOODLANDS SUITE
Green Corn Dance
Pine Needle Dance
Standing Quiver or Stomp Dance
Old Style War Dance
The dances presented here are social dances common to most eastern woodlands tribes. Socials are actively held today, especially during the winter months in the longhouses. Some dances celebrate the harvest, others acknowledge animals, imitating their movements. The women's dances remind the people that the earth is our mother and pay tribute to the three sisters: corn, beans and squash, which sustain life. In the War Dance, the dancers assume battle positions as they prepare, while the Smoke Dance is more functional, fanning the smoke up through the roof holes in the longhouse. The singers use small water drums, or hand drums, accompanied by rattles of steer horn.
FANCY SHAWL DANCE
The women celebrate in this modern version of the Butterfly Dance. Legend tells that the butterfly's mate was killed in battle. She mourns and goes into her cocoon as interpreted with the shawl. Her emergence celebrates freedom and a new life.
Originally a dance to teach and tell stories, the Hoop Dance features a dancer manipulating many reed hoops. He shows how all natural things are connected yet grow and change, as he displays flowers, an eagle, a turtle, a butterfly and more.
MOTHER EARTH ROUND DANCE
NORTHWEST COAST SUITE
Makah Tribe of Neah Bay, Washington
Paddle Dance Raven Dance Spear Dance Sparrow Dance
In the longhouses, the people tell stories and dance the myths and history that feature mam characters from the animal kingdom, and stories of whaling and hunting.
Kwakiutl Tribe of Alert Bay, British Columbia
Whale Presentation Hamatsa Ceremony Hamsamala Dance
These dances and masks are a small part of the Tseka or Red Cedar Bark Ceremonial dances of the Kwakwaka'wakw Tribes of the northwest coast of British Columbia (Kwakwala speaking people). The Tseka Ceremonies take place at potlatches held to commemorate special events. The ceremonies are preceded by the singing of the mourning songs to remember Chiefs and other members of the tribe who have passed away, and in so doing "wipe away the sadness." The Hamatsa is one of the most important dances performed in the winter ceremonials. The Hamatsa initiate is possessed by the cannibal spirit from the north end of the world. The HuxHux, Galukuml (Crooked beak of Heaveh), and Raven are supernatural beings who serve the Cannibal Spirit. The Hamatsa Ceremony depicts the taming of the Hamatsa Spirit.
ZUNI PUEBLO DANCES
Teaching children through dance and music continues in the Pueblos in the Southwest. The dances are a form of celebrating joy or victory or giving thanks, but all are in praise of what the Creator has provided. The butterfly is the most honored member of the insect world. As the butterfly goes from flower to flower with the corn pollen, it is a symbol not only of beauty, but of good health.
The eagle is sacred to all tribes and a symbol of great power and wisdom. It is believed that eagles are messengers between man and the Creator. The company presents two styles: from the Northern Plains and the Southwest Pueblos.
APACHE CROWN DANCE
The Mountain Spirits descend at certain times to bless the people and heal the sick. Apache medicine men performed this ceremony, which became the mountain spirit or crown dance. The clown mimes and exaggerates the movements to aid in teaching the children.
The elders carry in the eagle staff to begin the pow wow. The Fancy Dancers challenge each other. Steps are based on traditional and warrior society dances, but have been expanded to allow the modern warrior freedom to express himself as he competes, showing his best footwork, spins, stamina and brilliant plumage. The dance circle continues.
Fancy Shawl Dance
About the Artists
The dancers and musicians of the Ameri?can Indian Dance Theatre come from the Dakotas, the Southwest, Canada and the Great Plains. They are Apache, Arapahoe, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Com-anche, Cree, Creek, Kiowa, Makah, Mandan-Hidatsa, Navajo, Sioux, South?ern Ute and Zuni.
The company presents traditional dances from many regions, including ceremonial and seasonal dances, spiritual and social dances, and dances offering great individ?ual expression.
Since its inception in 1987, the company has toured in the United States and Canada and also performed in France, Italy, Swit?zerland, Germany, Scotland, the Persian Gulf states and North Africa. The company made its New York City debut in 1989. The following year, it was featured on a national television special for Great Perfor?mances and received a Grammy Award nomination for its original cast recording. A second special for Great Performances will be aired in spring 1993.
The music in the production includes an?cient songs passed down from generation to
generation, from family to family, as well as contemporary songs in the traditional style. Since none of the music is written down, an older, more accomplished singer needs to know several hundred songs. These are sung in tribal languages as well as vocables. The drum is central to the dance, accompanied by gourds, rattles and bells.
The dancers, or members of their families, make their own outfits. Many of the pieces are handed down tram father to son, mother to daughter or granddaughter. They are worn at ceremonies, festivals and pow wows and are all authentic, not designed for this production. Company members are expert silversmiths, jewelers, and mask carvers and many are adept at intricate beadwork and featherwork. Each outfit is designed to express the individuality of the dancer, but follows the tradition of each dance and incorporates tribal patterns and colors.
This performance marks the company's second appearance in Ann Arbor after its stunning debut in March 1991.