Ensemble portrays Native American life
By Margaret Damghani
|Photo by Margaret Damghani
Doug Foote, a master Native Singer whose Lakota name means “beautiful feather” chants with a local artist.
The Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble, representing seven tribal nations, performed to over 400 people at GPAC Nov. 12,
weaving dancing, storytelling, visual arts and live music into a striking and memorable performance.
The indigenous Northern Plains flute intertwined amazingly well with the blues music in the background.
The soulful saxophone could be heard clearly, intermingling with Kevin Locke’s live flute performance.
A huge screen flashed 100-year-old photographs of different Native people.
The photographs, though old, were strikingly beautiful with the contrasts of dark and light and how it played on old, weathered faces.
Before beginning this segment of the performance, Locke said that he was going to show some old photographs of people who “worked in homeland security. They’ve been fighting terrorism since 1492.”
The audience seemed enamored of the performances so far and laughed at this one of the many jokes of the evening.
A few acts before, Doug Foote and Edmond T. Nevaquaya filled the theater with traditional sounding chanting and drum beats until the song suddenly turned into contemporary love song lyrics.
“You drivin’ me crazy,” the two sing for a few lines.
The performance was a beautiful marriage of new and old and the audience showed their appreciation.
Jackie Bird’s guitar solos were no different. Her singing style clearly reflected a native lilt and melody, while she strummed western-style sounding chords.
The night ended with hoop dances, performed by Kevin Locke, Thirza DeFoe and about 20 eager audience members.
The hoop dance may have been the most impressive display of the evening.
Dancers worked their way from dancing, jumping through and twisting in and out of up to 28 hoops.
Locke first performed a hoop dance to a rapid tempo.
The dance created shapes that represented the story that he would tell afterward.
The hoops represent the unity of humanity and tell the story of the journey that all humans are taking, Locke said.