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Ontario to welcome dancers.

Aboriginal dance artists from across the globe will be gathering in Toronto and Brantford this summer to take part in Living Ritual: World Indigenous Dance Festival, a new event being launched by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre.

The festival will take place July 14 to 16. The first day will feature presentations, workshops and performances held at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford.

Amos Key Jr., the language director for the Woodland Cultural Centre, is scheduled to speak, as is Kaha:wi Dance Theatre founder and artistic director Santee Smith from Six Nations of the Grand River. A panel discussion on the evolution of dance will follow.

Norma Araiza, a Yaqui/Mexican performer, choreographer and instructor who is now living in Toronto is scheduled to offer a workshop on the traditional Mexican Deer dance and Andrew Garcia, founder of Tewa Dancers from the North based in San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico is scheduled to offer a workshop, on traditional Tewa dance technique.

A children's event featuring Foundation Living Roots from Columbia is also planned, as are performances by Araiza, the Tewa Dancers from the North and A Constellation of Bones, a collaborative multi-disciplinary performance piece incorporating music, dance and spoken word featuring Smith, artist and writer Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation and Maori composer Dean Hapeta from New Zealand.

The event will move to Toronto for days two and three, where workshops, panel discussions, master classes and public performances will take place at the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre at York University's Keele St. Campus.

Featured performers on July 15 will include the Le-La-La Dancers, a traditional First Nation dance troupe from the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation of northern Vancouver Island. Norma Araiza, the Tewa Dancers from the North, and the Living Roots Foundation are also scheduled to perform. Dancing from the Heart, a documentary about the Tewa Dancers from the North, will also be screened that day.


On July 16, dance artist Gaitan Gingras from Quebec, dance artist Rulan Tangen from New Mexico and dancer, actor and choreographer Raoul Trujillo from New Mexico will be featured, along with festival host Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, which works to create and promote contemporary artistic expression that reflects and honors Indigenous culture and world views. Another performance of A Constellation of Bones is also scheduled.

Daystar/Rosalie Jones, an author, dancer and choreographer from the Blackfeet reservation in Montana will be the keynote speaker on July 15 and will talk about the importance of dance from ceremony to stage. On July 16, Raoul Trujillo is scheduled to give the keynote address, speaking about the past, present and future roles of Indigenous dance.

The goal of the festival is to celebrate and promote global diversity by presenting Indigenous dance forms from across the country and around the world. The event will also provide participating performers with a forum for artistic and cultural exchange.


Living Ritual is being organized in partnership with the World Dance Alliance Global Assembly, which will take place at York University on July 17 to 21.

Performance tickets for Living Ritual will sell for $28 for a single performance. Single day passes will be $45 and a three-day festival pass will be $120. Ticket prices are lower for students and for members of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists.

For more information, visit the festival Web site at
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Title Annotation:Living Ritual: World Indigenous Dance Festival
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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