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November 5, 2004

American Indian Music and Dance Troupe to Perform on Nov. 17

The American Indian Music and Dance Troupe from Anadarko, Okla., will perform a noontime concert on Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The concert is a part of the American Folklife Center's concert series, "Homegrown 2004: The Music of America."

The Homegrown series presents the very best of traditional music and dance from a variety of folk cultures thriving in the United States. The series is co-sponsored by the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. This concert is also co- sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.

Homegrown concerts are held once a month from April through December. The concerts are free of charge and are presented from noon to 1 p.m. The closest Metro stops to the Jefferson Building are Capitol South (Blue and Orange lines) and Union Station (Red Line).

The American Indian Music and Dance Troupe is directed by Tom Mauchahty-Ware, a Kiowa flute player and composer whose family has been presenting the native culture of the Plains Indians for more than 75 years, notably at the National Folk Festival, which is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts.

Ware first participated in the National Folk Festival as a youngster in the 1960s. His father, a champion fancy dancer, performed at the festival during the 1940s, and his great uncle, artist Stephen Mopope, led Kiowa performances at the earliest festivals in the 1930s. Now Ware's 20-year-old son performs with his father as a member of the troupe.

The performance at the Library of Congress will include the Hoop and Eagle dances as well as the Fancy Dance, a more modern powwow standard characterized by intricate footwork and vibrant regalia. In addition, the group will perform the Grass Dance, a dance meant to represent the wind blowing through the sweet grass of the Northern Plains, and the Shield Dance, a dance that originated in the training exercises used to prepare men for hunting and fighting.

The performance at the Library of Congress will include the Hoop and Eagle dances as well as the Fancy Dance, a more modern powwow standard characterized by intricate footwork and vibrant regalia. In addition, the group will perform the Grass Dance, a dance meant to represent the wind blowing through the sweet grass of the Northern Plains, and the Shield Dance, a dance that originated in the training exercises used to prepare men for hunting and fighting.

"When we beat on the drum, we don't just hit a buffalo skin," said Ware. "We are calling the spirit of the animal that died. Our dancing and drumming help call the spirit of the animal to show it respect."

Still to come in the "Homegrown" concert series for 2004 is a performance of Jerry Grcevich and his Tamburitza Orchestra from Pennsylvania, at noon on Dec. 8 in the Coolidge Auditorium.

The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to "preserve and present American folklife" through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training. The center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in the Library in 1928 and is now one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world. For more information visit the centers Web site at www.loc.gov/folklife/.

Part of the Kennedy Center's Performing Arts for Everyone initiative, the Millennium Stage helps fulfill the center's mission to make performing arts widely accessible. These free, 6 p.m. performances are offered 365 days a year, and tickets are never required. Daily broadcasts of Millennium Stage concerts are available on the Internet. For a schedule and information on how to access the broadcasts, visit the Kennedy Center Web site at http://kennedy-center.org.

The Folklore Society of Greater Washington was founded in 1964 to further the understanding, investigation, appreciation and performance of the traditional folk music and folklore of the American people. The society presents more than 200 folk events in the Washington area each year.

Established by Congress in 1989, the National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. It opened to the public in September. For more information visit the museum's Web site at www.americanindian.si.edu.

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PR 04-193
11/05/04
ISSN 0731-3527

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