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Champion Fancy Dancer Larry Yazzie
to Perform at UW-Eau Claire Nov. 28

RELEASED: Nov. 12, 2007

Larry Yazzie
World champion fancy dancer Larry Yazzie

EAU CLAIRE — World champion fancy dancer Larry Yazzie will present a program titled "Honoring the Spirit" Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Artists Series show will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

The fancy dance is a fast, elaborately choreographed Native American dance performed to a drum accompaniment. One of the more modern dances in the powwow, fancy dance is by far the most strenuous and athletic, requiring great stamina and agility. Its colorful regalia is said to represent the rainbow spirits in its bright colors and flying feathers and ribbons.

An international lecturer, educator and performer, Larry Yazzie was raised on the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in central Iowa. Throughout his childhood he was instructed on the traditions of the Meskwaki people, including the flamboyant and energetic fancy dance and the northern Plains style of singing. He began dancing at the age of seven and was dancing competitively at powwows in his early teens. He consistently takes top honors at American Indian powwows throughout the United States and Canada, and won the world championship for the northern style fancy dance in 1995.

"Through my dancing and singing, I experience a zone of free spirit, where everyday problems and worries are left behind," Yazzie has said. "As a performer, it makes me feel good to share this positive energy with other people."

Yazzie has shared his culture throughout North America, South America, Europe and Australia. Notable appearances include the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, the 1999 Goodwill Games in Russia, the 2005 Belo Horizante International Cultural Festival in Brazil, and the 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, at which he appeared with his seven-year-old son Jessup. Literally following in his father's footsteps, Jessup will appear with Larry Yazzie on the Artists Series.

In addition to his successful solo and duo shows, Yazzie recently formed his own company, the Native Pride Dancers. He also is a member of the Ordway Theater's cultural advisory council.

Setting the tone of the evening, the Native American Student Association will host a pre-performance sweet fry bread feast from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Willow Lounge of Davies Center. All proceeds go to NASA.

Tickets for the Artists Series performance are $15 for the public, $13 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $5 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for the Artists Series.

Funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities and Programs office.



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