Oyate Okodakiciyapi: a unique celebration of Native music and dance

Artwork featured above by Gordon Coons.
Several renowned Native American, Native Hawaiian and First Nations musicians and choreographers performed during Ordway’s 2016-2017 Target® World Music and Dance season and the 2017 Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. These performances united during Oyate Okodakiciyapi (oh-YAH-tay oh-KOH-dah-KEE-chee-yah-pee), an Ordway community engagement series guided by Community Coordinator Christal Moose (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) and an advisory council of Native and Indigenous community members that continually work to promote and practice cultural artistic expression. The concept originated through conversations with several artists including Rosy Simas (Seneca) of Rosy Simas Danse. Community events are produced in partnership with All My Relations Arts and NACDI • Native American Community Development Institute. This work builds on the ongoing efforts of Taking Our Place Centerstage, an initiative through which the Ordway and SoulTouch Productions work in collaboration with communities of color.

The name Oyate Okodakiciyapi, given to us by Gwen Westerman, a Dakota educator and writer on the faculty of Minnesota State University, means “people coming together.” We encourage you to come together with us for an extended celebration of Native music and dance!

Past Events


Film Screening and Q&A: No Blood of Mine

presented by Ordway in collaboration with Open Screen Film Series at Film Space, Metropolitan State University

May 26, 2017
Film Space, located in Founders Hall at Metropolitan State University
700 7th St. E, St. Paul

No Blood of Mine follows Victoria, a young businesswoman. After taking a loan from a North Dakota gangster and losing her business, she flees back to her hometown of Duluth and reunites with her wealthy biological father — only to learn of his untimely demise. When clever Detective Rennie Dupree (played by Larry Yazzie) and his rookie partner Officer Mark Sorenson investigate, Victoria must decide between joining the gangster or facing the incriminating evidence linking her to the murder.

Following the screening was Q & A with film writer and director Wesley Ellenwood and actor Larry Yazzie.

This screening was a part of the Open Screen Film Series at Metropolitan State University’s Film Space in Founders Hall. Open Screen is funded in part through a Knight Arts Challenge Grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


Native Pride Dancers present: Ketti Nimiko!

Part of Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, presented by Ordway

June 3 & 4, 2017
Ordway Concert Hall

Ketti Nimiko! When translated from the Meskwaki language means to “Dance Hard!” Native Pride Dancers and special guests took the stage and presented the Eagle dance, Traditional Men’s Dance, Jingle Dress Dance, Grass Dance, Meskwaki Applique, Fancy Shawl Dance, and Fancy Dance. They educate, inspire, motivate, and empower our diverse audience to bridge cultural gaps through Indigenous traditions: music, dance, and stories!


Art Exhibition: Gathering of Contemporary Indigenous Artists

May 30 – June 4, 2017
Ordway lobbies

Many guests experienced the inspiring work of visual artists in a unique exhibition by Gordon Coons (Ojibwa/Ottawa). Themes explored through the art connected with Native American and Indigenous identity and the content of each performance in the series. The Art Exhibition was free admission during the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival.

Featured artists: Camille A. Lacapa (Hopi-Tewa/Ojibway) acrylic paintings; Cole Jacobson (Mdewakanton Dakota), acrylic paintings, quill works, mixed media; Chholing Taha (Cree) acrylic paintings on paper; Gordon Coons (Ojibwa/Ottawa) acrylic and oil paintings; Gwen Westerman (Dakota), quilts; and Joseph Allen (Lakota) photos on metal.


 

IndigenousIndigenous

Apr 21, 2017
Ordway Music Theater

Rounding out our focus on Native artists for the Target® World Music & Dance series was the powerhouse blues-rock band, Indigenous. Led by front man Mato Nanji from the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Indigenous is influenced by the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana.

Their latest album, “Time is Coming” is dedicated to the indigenous youth and all young people on the indigenous reservations.

Ordway Pre-Show Extra

Ordway Pre-Show Extra one hour prior to the performance featured the drum group from the Ogitchidakwe Council, started five years ago by the Grandmothers at the Elders Lodge in Saint Paul. They shared about their sexual assault advocacy work and the healing drum.

 


 A Survey of Native American Dance in the Twin Cities

presented by The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse and Ordway*

Feb 26, 2017 
The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts | 528 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

This public talk highlighted the incredible diversity of Native people who live and dance in the Twin Cities with images provided by the Minnesota Historical Society. Guest speakers included Athena Cloud, Lumhe Sampson, Simas, Winona Tahdooahnippah, Sandy WhiteHawk, and Larry Yazzie. Opening prayer led by Janice Bad Moccasin.

Audience traveled on the bus to the public talk while listening to and sharing stories with “Coffee Shop” Al Gross from Powwow Grounds, special thanks to All My Relations Arts and NACDI •  Native American Community Development Institute. 

This series is curated by Michèle Steinwald for The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, in partnership with Judith Brin Ingber, choreographer and writer; Cecily Marcus, curator, and Kathryn Hujda, assistant curator, of the Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota Libraries; Nancy Mason Hauser, videographer, and Linda Shapiro, choreographer and writer, founders of the Minnesota Dance Pioneers Oral History Project. Program support provided by The Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Photo credit: Walter “Porky” White by Deb White circa 1975.


Indigenous Contemporary Dance Workshop with Rulan Tangen

in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse and Two Rivers Gallery

Feb 28, 2017
Two Rivers Gallery located at the Minneapolis American Indian Center | 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis

This workshop was led by Rulan Tangen, Founding Director/Choreographer of DANCING EARTH, an internationally recognized company of intertribal contemporary dancers. Rooted in respect for Native worldview and cultural wisdom as shared by her elders and mentors, Rulan Tangen invited class participants to experience a journey into indigenous embodiment.


Welcome Gathering

in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse, All My Relations Arts, NACDI • Native American Community Development Institute, and Two Rivers Gallery

Feb 28, 2017
Two Rivers Gallery located at the Minneapolis American Indian Center | 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
Catering by Gatherings Cafe
MC: Deanna StandingCloud
Opening blessing by Nancy Bordeaux

At this event, the community came together to eat and welcome several visiting renowned Native contemporary dancers and artists. On display in the Two Rivers Gallery was Gathering of Contemporary Indigenous Artists, an exhibition curated by Gordon Coons. Exhibiting artists included Camille A. Lacapa, Cole Jacobson, Chholing Taha, Gordon Coons, Gwen Westerman and Joseph Allen.

This gathering began a week of community engagements as part of Oyate Okodakiciyapi: a unique celebration of Native music and dance, including in-school visits, workshops, exhibitions, discussions, and performances.

Highlights included an art exhibition opening reception on FRI, MAR 3  The Harvest Sturdies: Tanya Lukin Linklater at All My Relations Arts in Minneapolis and a public performance on SAT, MAR 4 , Oyate Okodakiciyapi: An Evening of Native Contemporary Dance, co-curated by local Native choreographer, Rosy Simas, at the Ordway in St. Paul showcasing:

Christopher K Morgan And Artists
Presenting Pohaku

Santee Smith And Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre
Presenting NeoIndigenA

Rulan Tangen And Dancing Earth
Presenting SEEDS: RE GENERATION
With participation of local Native artists: Lumhe Sampson, Samsoche Sampson, Janice Bad Moccasin, Thomasina Ziegler, Hollie Ziegler


Powwow Boot Camp with Santee Smith

in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse

Mar 1, 2017
Ordway Drake Room

“Celebrate being alive and be prepared to sweat!”
Ordway was pleased to offer a high-energy Powwow/dance training class led by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT)’s Artistic Director Santee Smith. This was an intensive as well as fun boot camp style workout for people interested in maximizing their physical fitness. Participants practiced skills in Indigenous dance forms of Powwow and Onkehon:we (Iroquois) social dances. These dances were performed in combination with exciting and challenging cardiovascular/physical conditioning exercises, contemporary dance, as well as incorporating the Muscle and Bone system.


The Harvest Sturdies: Tanya Lukin Linklater

presented by All My Relations Arts in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse and Ordway*

March 3 – April 7, 2017
All My Relations Gallery | 1414 Franklin Avenue East, Minneapolis

Tanya Lukin Linklater’s performance collaborations, videos, photographs and installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is compelled by relationships between bodies, histories, poetry, pedagogy, Indigenous conceptual spaces (languages), and institutions.


 

A Night with NACDI: Indigenous Foods and Arts

presented by NACDI • Native American Community Development Institute in partnership with Ordway

Mar 4, 2017
All Nations Church | 1515 E 23rd St, Minneapolis
Catered by The Sioux Chef 

The community enjoyed dinner by The Sioux Chef while engaging in a talk about the Indigenous food movement with Four Sisters Farmers Market. Hosted by Robert Lilligren, president and CEO of NACDI.

Then traveled on a bus to watch Oyate Okodakiciyapi: An Evening of Native Contemporary Dance at the Ordway. The Storytelling Bus will feature “Coffee Shop” Al Gross from Powwow Grounds.

 


Oyate Okodakiciyapi: An Evening of Native Contemporary Dance

co-curated with Rosy Simas*

Mar 4, 2017
Ordway Music Theater

 

 

Continuing our focus on the artistry and culture of Native people, we are proud to present a showcase of Native contemporary dance companies called Oyate Okodakiciyapi, which means “people coming together” in the Dakota language. This thrilling evening of dance, co-curated with locally-based choreographer, Rosy Simas, will feature solo works by native Hawaiian Christopher K. Morgan, and Santee Smith from the Mohawk Nation. We’ll also be treated to a new work by Dancing Earth, an indigenous, intertribal dance ensemble. The opening blessing will be done by Sharon Day.

Ordway Pre-Show Extra

Guests arrived early to hear Zoë Klein, Artistic Director/Performer at Paradizo Dance based in San Francisco, California, and Tanya Lukin Linklater, a multi-media artist based in northern Ontario, Canada, explore defining culture in contemporary terms in a discussion moderated by Rosy Simas in the Target Atrium.

Post-Show Party

Following the performance was a Talk-back Q&A with Dancing Earth, Christopher K Morgan, Santee Smith, Rosy Simas and company members.


Round Table Discussion: An artist to artist talk with Indigenous choreographers from Turtle Island

in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse, The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, All My Relations Arts*

Left to right: Tanya Lukin Linklater, Christopher K. Morgan, Maura Garcia, Rulan Tangen, and Zoë Klein. Not pictured: Sam Mitchell and Rosy Simas.
Left to right: Tanya Lukin Linklater, Christopher K. Morgan, Maura Garcia, Rulan Tangen, and Zoë Klein. Not pictured: Sam Mitchell and Rosy Simas.

Mar 5, 2017
The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts, Target Education Studio on the 2nd floor | 528 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

With: Tanya Lukin Linklater, Christopher K. Morgan, Maura Garcia, Rulan Tangen, Zoë Klein, Sam Mitchell and Rosy Simas

Oyate Okodakiciyapi means “people coming together” in the Dakota language.

Rosy Simas invited Indigenous choreographers to dialogue with each other on creating and presenting their dance work. The discussion touched on current work, aesthetics, challenges, methods, audiences, community engagement, and plans for the future.

Leadership

Community Coordinator
Christal Moose

Community Advisors
Rosy Simas
Sharon Day
Janice Badmoccasin
Missy Whiteman
Taylor Payer
Deanna StandingCloud
Georgia Larsen
Isabella Lablanc
Gordon Coons
Comanche Fairbanks
Heid Erdrich

Community Events Produced in Collaboration With

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Part of the Ongoing Commitment