The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers helped out on SKIN OF THE WOLF way more than they know. We’ve been to a number of powwows they’ve been part of and performances they’ve given, spoken to some of the members, and generally tried to embrace and communicate their message: that Native American culture isn’t a relic of the old days to be looked for in museums; it’s a living part of the modern world.
Case in point: One of the Thunderbird Dancers, Maria McKinney-Poncé, is a hoop dancer. The Hoop Dance in its modern version is a relatively new dance in the Native community — meaning, it goes back decades but not centuries — and women dancing it is an even newer phenomenon. It’s been taken up in a big way. The Heard Museum holds an annual competition. Check out the video; Maria Mckinney-Poncé is the sixth of the six. If you want to learn how to do this, Mckinney-Poncé teaches at Lotus Music and Dance, one of New York’s many fabulous shoestring arts organizations.
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