Showing posts from February, 2016

Hip Hop Hoop Dance and More: Young Natives Innovate While Honoring Traditions

This article first appeared in  Dance Informa  in February 2016.  For more on topics like this, see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle.... Anshe:kwe dance group processes across the desert near their Zuni Pueblo home. Photo by Joseph Zummo. N akotah LaRance freestyles along a sidewalk. He is gliding, popping and waving — and spinning the hoops of a venerable medicine dance of his Native people. LaRance, a world champion hoop dancer and Cirque du Soleil performer, is performing a captivating mash-up  of hip hop and traditional hoop dance at the 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market, the world’s largest juried showcase for Native arts. The 26-year-old from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico, is lyrical and dazzling, laser-focused and relaxed, as he manipulates five 24-inch-diameter hoops. They become an eagle, a butterfly, a flower, a ladder representing life stages from infancy to old age and, finally, Earth’s globe. An electronics-plus-powwow-drum track from the