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Native American dancers will perform at SMC

Caitlin Housley | Thursday, November 5, 2009

The sounds of American Indian traditions will fill the air tonight in O’Laughlin Auditorium at Saint Mary’s College, as The Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble will be performing on campus at 7:30 p.m.

The program will consist of a mix of American Indian traditions such as dance, song and sign language and will include spots for audience interaction.

According to the Moreau Center’s Arts & Ideas 2009 Fall Season pamphlet, the group will present narratives from “the Plains nations of the Lakota, Anishinabe, and Comanche, the Southeastern tribe Choctaw, and the Woodlands Nations of Ojibwe and Oneida.”

The goal of the ensemble is to allow the audience to “discover how we can draw from our individual heritages to create a vibrant, evolving, global civilization embracing and celebrating our collective heritage.” according to the pamphlet. The event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Services and Student Programs at Saint Mary’s and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is open to the public.  Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for faculty and staff and $5 for students and children.

“The Cultural Affairs Committee and I chose the event because it looked like a powerful, compelling way to experience the visual impact of Native American Dance,” Richard Baxter, director of special events at Saint Mary’s College, said. “Our Performing Arts Series tries to present a diverse offering of disciplines and styles to the Moreau Center.”

He also noted this event was quite timely because Kevin Locke, the head of the ensemble, was recently nominated for three Nammy awards. The Nammy’s, or “The Native American Music Awards,” honor those who have shown great achievement in the Native American arts.  Locke has been nominated for best artist, best flutist and best record.

“We are honored to have his company at Saint Mary’s,” Baxter said.

Students and faculty expressed excitement about the event as well.

“It’s nice to catch a glimpse into the traditions of another culture,” Saint Mary’s sophomore, Lauren Metayer, said.

“I’m totally excited to go, not just because it seems fun, but also because I will get to see and learn about a different culture I’m interested in learning about,” Eva Cavadini, a Saint Mary’s sophomore majoring in Theatre and Music, said. “Diversity is a beautiful thing and it’s wonderful that Saint Mary’s is offering us this experience.”