MAILED: Oct. 22, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- The Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theater will perform at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Wednesday, Nov. 12.
The 15-member company will present a program titled "Cokata Upo!" (Come to the Center), a full-evening work that celebrates the culture of the Lakota people, on the Artists Series at 7:30 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall, Fine Arts Center.
"Cokata Upo!" is in three parts -- "Birth of a Nation," "Death and Rebirth" and "All Nations As One." The program includes the Grass, Jingle Dress, Fancy, Traditional, Horse, Buffalo, Eagle, Round and Inter-Tribal Dances, juxtaposed with dance interpretations of the Lakota warrior tradition. The work is performed against a backdrop of video imagery and accompanied by traditional, sacred and courting songs. Narratives and creation stories introduce each segment of the performance.
The principal performer and narrator is Albert White Hat, a storyteller, linguist, dancer and elder who was a consultant for the film "Dances with Wolves."
The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet described the show as "an unusually powerful, intense and colorful performance... The continuous drumming, the single-toned song in the uncomfortably high voice register, the poetic flute, the meeting between animal and human, the ecstatic feeling, all of these float together in a fascinating and violating totality."
"No summary of the intent and meaning of the performance gives a hint of the production's emotional spirit," wrote the Rapid City Journal.
The Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theater (formerly the Lakota Solaris Project) was founded in 1978 on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota with the support of traditional Lakota Indian educators, healers, community leaders, championship powwow dancers, singers and storytellers. The company creates opportunities for Indians and non-Indians alike to experience and interpret the holistic world view of the Lakota Sioux people through live performance, educational outreach and broadcast television programs.
Admission is $15 for the general public; $13 for those age 62 and over, and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $5 for those age 17 and under, and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, and will be sold at the door.
The Artists Series is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate. The program is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 23, 1997