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. 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.
Quetzal Guerrero carries the name "precious feather" in the Aztec-Nahuatl language. As a Suzuki trained violinist, he has studied and performed internationally since the age of 5, playing with legends such as Tito Puente, Lalo Guerrero and Jorge Santana. He is an accomplished visual artist and actor who trains with Axe Capoeira. As a champion street dancer with Sourpatch, he has appeared with H.T.Chen and Company of New York and was invited to perform with Mikhail Baryshnikov. He is also a founding dancer at the Earth Dance Theater and awarded in The Naming Ceremony at the University of California, Riverside Red Rhythms Conference. He recently toured Europe with world renowned Osunlade and is currently working in Puerto Rico as a newly signed artist to Yoruba Records.