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The American Indian Community House
Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library

Dance

While several Native performers have studied and performed European classical music as well as contemporary dance forms many have blended these styles with Native performance styles. Additionally, these artists have sought to ease the drift between traditional and contemporary forms of music and dance. The work that emerges from the blending of these diverse styles also serves to bridge the dichotomies that have divided the Native dance world. 

The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers
In this video the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers – Louis Mofsie and Michael Taylor are practicing dances steps. One traditional Native dance the other improvisational dance.

The Thunderbird Dancers bring the beauty of traditional Native American culture to both American Indian and non-Indian audiences. Specializing in a variety of distinct regional tribal dances, their performances are wonderfully presented with narrative stories. The dance in this video is derived from the Northwest Coast.

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HIDVL Call # HI2005.042_01





Chaske
Chaske (5 year old Fancy Dancer) performs with the Silvercloud Singers. 

The drum group was founded by Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/ Ho Chunk) and is an intertribal Native Drum group whose singers reside in the New York area.  Fancy Dancing is a contest dance, one of the exciting and beautiful dances done at powwows.  The term "fancy dance" is derived from the intricate regalia and complicated dance moves.  It is not unusual for children to start dancing at a young age.

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HIDVL Call # HI2005.042_01

Tom Porter and the Akwesasne Singers
Iroquois (Mohawk)community social. Tom Porter and the Akwesasne Singers - Iroquois Round Dance

Tom Porter (Sakokwenionkwas-“The One Who Wins”) is the spokesman and Chief Spiritual Leader of the Mohawk Community of Kanatsiohareke (Ga na jó haláy:gay) in Fonda, New York. A member of the Bear Clan, he was raised as part of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation in upstate New York. Mr. Porter acting Bear Clan Chief in the traditional longhouse movement, opposite the state-sanctioned Tribal Council. He has served numerous positions on the Mohawk Nation of Chiefs Council for over 25 years. 

The Akwesasne Mohawk Singers are among the foremost performers of Iroquois traditions in North America today. They live on their ancestral land along the St. Lawrence River where northern New York meets southern Ontario and Quebec. The Akwesasne Mohawk Singers perform stomp dances, round dances, women's dances and couple's dances and their accompanying songs.The round dance shown here is an Iroquois social dance, which can be done both inside and outside their traditional longhouse.

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HIDVL Call # HI2005.045_01