Friday, 04 March 2011 15:22

Interview with Hanay Geiogamah (2007)

In December of 2007, as part of its Native Theater Festival, the Public Theater brought Native theater professionals from around the U.S. and Canada to New York City for a series of readings and discussions. The five-day festival included play readings, post-performance discussions, concerts, roundtables, and the performance of Darrell Dennis' 'Tales of and Urban Indian.' This video documents an interview with Hanay Geiogamah, conducted by Graydon Wetzler as a part of a supplementary Native Theater Festival interview series.

Biography

A member of the Kiowa-Delaware Tribes from Oklahoma, Hanay Geiogamah is a professor of theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Mr. Geiogamah is also the director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and for the past ten years has served as principal investigator for Project HOOP, the national initiative to promote development of Native American theater and performing arts. With an extensive background in the theater as a director, playwright and producer, he is actively involved in American Indian studies and research and serves as the founding artistic director of the internationally-acclaimed American Indian Dance Theater. Professor Geiogamah was senior producer for the two-part documentary series, 'Indian Country Diaries,' broadcast nationally on the PBS network in November, 2006 as a production of the Native American Public Telecommunications Consortium. In March of this year he staged the dance sequences for the critically praised opera 'Wakonda's Dream' at Opera Omaha, serving as guest artist for the premiere performances with members of the American Indian Dance Theater. Mr. Geiogamah is the author and editor of a number of books and articles on Native American theater and performing arts and serves as series editor for the Native American Theater Series of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center Press. His first collection of plays, 'New Native American Drama,' is published by the University of Oklahoma Press and has been in print for 27 years.

Graydon Wetzler is a filmmaker and a PhD candidate at the Department of Performance Studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he is currently writing his dissertation on performance and surveillance.

Interview with Rulan Tangen (Dancing Earth) and Leland Chapin (Los Colores Studio), conducted by Jennifer Cayer as a part of the 6th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

Friday, 16 July 2010 10:36

Interview with Dancing Earth (2005)

Dancing Earth is an array of indigenous dance artists who work as a collective under the leadership of Rulan Tangen, striving to embody a unique essence of Indigenous identity and perspective by creation and renewal of artistic and cultural movement rituals.

Friday, 09 July 2010 11:57

Huipil (1992)

Creation stories and rituals--constant reminders of our origins are woven on our huipil along with our present day stories of social, political injustices and racism, the Colorado Sisters, Elvira and Hortencia explain. Huipil, presents these stories, along with traditional music, hand choreography and rap, woven together the way a traditional huipil is woven on a back-strap loom. This is our personal statement of our role in the universe, community, and family, as sisters and as women. Theses stories symbolize our strength and survival.

Published in Coatlicue: Works
Friday, 09 July 2010 11:53

Chicomoztoc-mimixcoa - Cloud Serpents

Coatlicue Theater's 'Chicomoztoc-mimixcoa - Cloud Serpents,' was first performed as a work in progress in 1996 at the New World Theater in Amherst, MA as part of a summer program titled 'New Works for a New World.' Elvira and Hortencia Colorado explain the piece as being 'a journey through dreams, stories, time and memory, across mountains and deserts, retracing the footsteps of the ancestors, traveling back to Chicomoztoc (the place of our origin), searching, digging up and gathering stories that have been buried through centuries of shame and denial in our family, but which connect us to our past and identity. Some stories/secrets remain buried, and they are also part of who we are. We honor all those who struggled with their shame and denial. This is an offering to all of our relations.'

The second video was filmed during the American Indian Community House's (AICH) 2000 Indian Summer season and captures the first time the completed work was performed in New York.

Published in Coatlicue: Works
Friday, 09 July 2010 11:50

Blood Speaks (1992)

Coatlicue Theater Company's Blood Speaks deals with the pivotal role that religion/Christianity played in the oppression and genocide of native people. In the course of the play the artists reclaim their voices and begin to rewrite history, in their own terms.

Published in Coatlicue: Works

The Coatlicue Theater Company's 'A Traditional Kind of Woman: Too Much, Not 'Nuff,' deals with issues of domestic violence, incest, rape, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, drugs, cancer, diabetes, nutrition and racism. This piece was commissioned by the American Indian Community House's (AICH) Women's Wellness Circle. It was developed from healing and empowerment stories collected from women from the community with the goal of empowering other Native women. Using music, song and 'larger than life' props, the sisters communicate the heartbreak, absurdity, pain, humor and power of the stories. It has been shown across the country to Native audiences, healthcare providers and at numerous conferences.

Published in Coatlicue: Works
Friday, 09 July 2010 11:36

Moments in Tlalteuctli (1993)

Moments in Tlalteuctli is the working title for this work in progress. In it, Hortencia and Elvira Colorado, of Coatlicue Theater Company, tell stories of environmental and societal violence against women offered as a healing performance for the earth and humanity. The stories examine border exploitation, abuse, the appropriation of culture and spirituality, NAFTA, the dispossession of indigenous people from their land, and the impact of the low intensity war on indigenous communities in Chiapas.

Published in Coatlicue: Works
Friday, 09 July 2010 11:32

Coatlicue Theater Excerpts (1999)

This video includes excerpts from four Coatlicue Theater Company productions. Included are: Open Wounds (Welcome scene); Coyolxauhqui (Sister/Yoyolotl/End scene); Traditional Kind of Woman (Cancer scene); and Huipil (Rap ancestor/Dark angel scene).

Published in Coatlicue: Works

Mélange of music and dance by contemporary Native American and African American performers, presented at the Francisco Nunes theater in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, as a part of the 5th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, titled Performing Heritage: Contemporary Indigenous and Community-Based Practices (http://hemisphericinstitute.org/eng/seminar/brazil2005/index.html). This performance brings together four contemporary American performances drawing from the artists' cultural roots: Quetzal Guerrero (Native American violinist and dancer), Larry Yazzie (Meskwaki/ Dine World Champion Fancy Dancer), David Pleasant (African-American Gullah/Geeche percussion and song, performing with dancer Joyah Pugh), and Dancing Earth (Indigenous Modern Dance collective directed by Rulan Tangen, with the participation of Quetzal Guerrero, Anthony Thosh Collins and Alejandro Meraz). Quetzal Guerrero and Thosh Collins open the evening with a traditional chant from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa indian community, followed by Quetzal's original solo violin piece. Larry Yazzie then performs his dazzling powwow Fancy Dance from Tama, Iowa, followed by the energetic and powerful percussion of African American David Pleasant, who draws on rhythms dating back to slavery in the United States. Dancing Earth performs a dance piece about the creation of the earth, and the evening ends with all performers bringing together their traditions--and the audience--on stage. There is also a post-performance discussion with the artists, in which they talk about the origins and meanings of their performances.

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