Native dancers at Lotus's Drums Along the Hudson: A Native American Festival and Multicultural Celebration in Inwood Hill Park, NYC. Thunderbird American Indian Dancers (middle photo)
Native American Music and Dance traditions take very different forms from culture to culture. Lotus Music & Dance enjoys a rich relationship with performers of Mohawk music and dance due to the relationship between Lotus's founder, Kamala Cesar, and Tom Porter, the founder of Kanatsiohareke, a traditional Mohawk community in upstate New York. Ms. Cesar and Mr. Porter have worked tirelessly to ensure that performers of Native American music and dance traditions are assured an outlet for their creativity. Although there are hundreds of different communities of Native Americans, all share traditions of reverence to the Creator, oral history and storytelling, stories of origin and unity, and a deep respect for equality and the importance of all life forms. Dressed in traditional regalia, performing artists captivate their audiences and enhance understanding of native history and culture with traditional instruments such as flute, water drum and cow horn rattles. Social dances included stomp dances, round dances, women's dances and couple's dances and their accompanying songs.
Native American Hoop Dance is a form of storytelling dance incorporating anywhere from one to 30 or more hoops as props, which are used to create both static and dynamic shapes, or formations, representing various animals, symbols, and storytelling elements. It is generally performed by a solo dancer with many hoops.
Native American Women's Fancy Shawl Dance is a relatively modern style of Native American dance. It originated in the Northern Plains in the early to mid 1900's as it became more acceptable for women to have a faster paced, stylistic approach to dancing, compared to the earlier, calmer, styles. The movements are quick, light and graceful, with lots of spinning, bouncing, and intricate footwork. The women dance with a colorful shawl that has long flowing fringe, imitating a butterfly's wings. This dance is performed at pow-wow's and Native American gatherings
Preceding the annual Drums Along the Hudson: A Native American Festival and Multicultural Celebration, Lotus offers workshops in Native American Indian Hoop Dance. Call 212-627-1076 for more information
Instructors: Marie Ponce, Donna Ahmadi