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Hoop Dancing Champion Heads to Eiteljorg Indian Market & Festival

by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg festivals and markets manager | May 01, 2013

As the Eiteljorg’s festival and markets manager, each year I plan what I hope will be an exciting entertainment schedule for Indian Market and Festival. My goal is to fill the stage with mesmerizing, educational, straight-up fun performances. This year will not disappoint! We’re excited to bring five-time world champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan (Apache/Arikara/Hidatsa) to make his Indian Market debut June 22 and 23!

Duncan told Indian Country newspaper, he believes people should “Dream big. Whatever it is you love to do, do that. Practice, practice, practice!”

So, you might be wondering, what is hoop dancing?
In hoop dancing, dancers use colorful hoops and their bodies to tell stories, creating shapes with the hoops – for example, animals, flowers and eagles. But trying to describe it with words doesn’t work. You have to see it to really appreciate the artistry and athleticism that go into being a hoop dancer.

Click for video

Tony embodies the idea of tradition playing an important role in contemporary life. Traditional hoop dance was ceremonial and has evolved into a storytelling art. After winning his fifth world championship, Tony was approached by Canadian recording artist Nelly Furtado about performing in the video for “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better). He jumped at the chance to combine traditional dance with contemporary dance music. He loved the experience and joined Nelly on a world tour and on mainstream stages like the Billboard Music Awards and The Tonight Show.

Click for video

For Tony, hoop dancing is special. Here's what he told Indian Country about what hoop dancing has meant to him:  “It's very inviting—a hoop is laying there and you just want to pick it up and start spinning it and jump through it. My father taught me when I was 5 years old, and since then I've just loved dancing. The hoop teaches us many things, primarily, having respect for all of life and life’s creations. It teaches us about the different cycles of life, the changing seasons upon Mother Earth, as well as the seasons of our own lives. All of life dances in a circle and we’re all connected. It’s a very exciting yet spiritual dance, there's nothing else like it.”

Please visit Power 2 Give to find out how you can help bring Tony Duncan and his dance group to Indian Market and Festival.

Over the years, the Indian Market & Festival stage has been graced by a diverse mix of traditional and contemporary representations of Native cultures: flutes, drums, electric guitars and didgeridoos; stories about raven, coyote and other animal teachers; stories about cell phones, airplanes and modern life; songs in English, Lakota, Navajo, Tsimshian and Inuit; traditional dancers with superman tattoos; and contemporary singers wearing regalia. This mixture of past and present is evidence of vibrant Native cultures and part of what makes Indian Market such a great event. 

We hope to see you June 22 and 23! Be sure to catch Tony Duncan's performance. And, if you've ever seen hoop dancing, tell us about your experience in our comments section!




Jaq Nigg
Eiteljorg festivals and markets manager 

 

2 Comments

  1. 2 Brenda 09 May
    I would love to come and see Tony. Can you tell me the price it will cost to get in to see him? Thank you Brenda
  2. 1 DeShong 09 May
    Hi Brenda, Here's the price break down:
    Advance Sale
    Adults and Members: $8
    17 and under: FREE
    Advance tickets available at the Eiteljorg 

    At the gate
    Adults: $10 (both days)
    Members: $8
    17 and under: FREE

     

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