Native American dance group prepares for NMU show – The North Wind
A display of tribal moccasins and hoop dances from a visiting troop will be offered as part of an ongoing celebration of Native American Heritage Month at Northern Michigan University.
The NMU Center for Native American Studies will host a free performance of the Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 18 in the Reynolds Recital Hall.
This will be the group’s first performance here in Northern and Baraga’s Woodland Singers will perform alongside the dancers, according to an NMU press release. The dancers have also performed in many elementary, middle and high schools to educate students, said Michelle Reed, founding member of the Woodland Sky Dance Company.
âThe group performs in schools to teach other Native students about their heritage and to broaden the minds of others about Native American culture,â Reed said. “We also played at a Green Bay Packers halftime show.”
The Woodland Sky Dance Company was established in 2013 and is made up of Native American Ojibwe, Sioux, and Potawatomi dancers, mostly from the Midwest. The name of the company was chosen because the group is made up of members of woodland tribes, who typically lived in forests near lakes or streams and encompassed the midwestern part of the United States.
The group began with Reed and two others from Flambeau Lake, a Chippewa tribe band from Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin.
The goal of the Woodland Sky Dance Company is to educate the audience of the NMU and Marquette about Native American art and the appreciation of its dance and music, said April Lindala, director of the Center of Native American Studies. .
The performance of the Woodland Sky Dance is different from a powwow because powwows are ceremonial and there are interactions with the community going on.
âAt this event, people can come and go,â Lindala said.
Lindala hopes that many people will join us, even if they are not Native American, to feel and experience what is on offer. The show gives off a story and these stories reiterate everything from values ââand beliefs. This is when the songs and dances get the real explanation, she said.
âIt might convey something funny or rich about a YouTube video,â Lindala said. âYou might not need to know it today, but you might need to know it years from now. “
Indigenous art will be available for purchase at the event, which will be free to the public. More information about the group can be found by searching @nativeamericandancecompany on Facebook and visiting their page.