Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival 2008 - Saturday, September 13, 2008

For the second year in a row, Indigenous was invited back to perform its Mytho-Poetic Dance on the Meadow Stage on Saturday morning, fusing World cultural myths, music and costuming to tell a story through dance.  Indigenous performed a set of imaginary dances from the Afro-Brazilian cultures interwoven with Middle Eastern costuming and dance styling. 


Above Photos by David Martin.  The Troupe poses with Big Fan, Patrick

Dance and music from North Africa found its way across the Atlantic to the Americas with the early transportation of slaves and later in the willing immigration of settlers.  The first four dances of the performance were set in the Old World of North Africa.  A group of village women interacted humorously in their daily life of laundry and fetching water to their village and then celebrated everyday life in the form of harvesting wheat and making bread.  The fourth dance showed that although the heartbeat rhythm of life is constant in all of us and connects us, interpretation can be different according to the individual.  With this individuality, the passing of the drum beat crossed the ocean within in hearts and minds of the travelers, the only thing that couldn't taken away from them.  The last three dances reflected the interaction of the Old World with the New, blending with the indigenous cultures to form unique music, rhythms and dances that continue to evolve to this day.  Photos by Douglas Martin


The women fill their gourds at the river and wash themselves, splashing each other and laughing.  They then have to wash their muddy garments.


The motions in the Basket Dance take the audience through walking to the fields with the beautiful hand-woven baskets, cutting the wheat, treading the shafts, picking up of the wheat heads, and separating the grains from the chaff.



The women grind the wheat into flour and take it home to knead and make into bread.


The Drum Dance has the women dance in a friendly competition with each other and then coming together as true friends in the end.


The arrival of strangers strikes fear into the villagers hearts as they are symbolically taken across the Great Water to the New World.


In the New World they blend the Old World rhythms with those of the Indigenous peoples to form new dances like Samba!


Many African based rhythms have also found their way into modern Rock and Roll music, Blues and Hip Hop and even into Belly Dance!


A Mid East Version of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" brings Black Magic to the stage.



Be sure to come back next year to see Indigenous' new Mytho-Poetic line-up

More information at  City of Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival