E: santeesmith@hotmail.com

YOH HA HEE YOH TOUR 2005
International Yoh ha hee yoh Tour: Here On Earth and Kaha:wi

The international Yoh ha hee yoh Tour is set for 2005. The Yoh ha hee Yoh Tour is a contemporary aboriginal Dance tour that will highlight Iroquoian and aboriginal cultural expression across Canada and the United States. This tour marks the first ever Aboriginal contemporary dance tour that will touch many peoples lives native and non-native. The Yoh ha hee yoh Tour will be presented at High Performance Rodeo in Calgary on January 20-22, 2005, the Sanderson Centre in Brantford February 3, 2005, Centre for the Arts, Brock University February 5, 2005, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian in Washington D.C. on February 18-19, 2005 and at Hartwick College New York on February 26, 2005.

Choreographer’s Statement

As an Onkwehonwe person I believe that song and dance were gifts given to us by the Creator, to celebrate our lives on Mother Earth. It is what we do, it is what we know, since first we heard our mother’s heartbeat and her muffled voice, and moved along with the sway of her hips. Song and dance together are the ultimate expressions of who we are, it identifies and defines us, it links us to each other and to the Creator. It has been my ongoing goal to create contemporary work that is reflective of indigenous aesthetics and perspective. As a choreographer it is my objective to create an awareness of contemporary indigenous expression in the arts.

Kaha:wi

Brief Description

Kaha:wi is a profound new work that bridges the gap between contemporary and traditional Iroquoian song and dance without losing the integrity of the cultural content and aesthetic. The hour long production of Kaha:wi includes contemporary aboriginal dance/music performance with a cast of 6 professional dancers, lighting design by Ron Snippe and costume/set design by Cheryl Lalonde. The original contemporary aboriginal music is pre-recorded to CD format and has been nominated for two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

The contemporary music, choreography and design for Kaha:wi explores fundamental philosophies of Iroquoian culture such as the honouring of the continuous cycle of Life. The project reflects cultural concepts of Thanksgiving, sacredness of the natural world, rite ceremonies and duality. Choreographically, Kaha:wi draws inspiration from traditional Iroquoian social dances such as the Gada:tro:t (Standing Quiver Dance or Stomp Dance), Ehsga:nye: gae:nase: (New Women’s Shuffle Dance), Gayowaga:yoh (Old Mocassin Dance) and the Wa enoti:yo (Stick Dance). Musically, Kaha:wi highlights traditional based songs such as the Dawn Song, Gada:tro:t, naming songs, Ato:wi:se (Women’s Chant or Moon Songs) and a Mohawk grandmother’s lullaby. The original music created for Kaha:wi incorporates Mohawk Hymns that have become integral to Iroquoian communities across Canada and the United States after the influence of Christianity.

Artistically Kaha:wi reflects traditional values, beliefs and aesthetics on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Kaha:wi is powerful due to the cultural weight it demonstrates by being profoundly connected to the richness, integrity and beauty of the Iroquoian people.

Kaha:wi Cast:

Choreographer/Dancer: Santee Smith

Dancers:
Tatiana Ramos
Rulan Tangen
Alejandros Meraz
Marvin Vergara
Alejandra Valiente
Anthony C. Collins

Guest Artists:
Raoul Trujillo
April Doxtator

Set/Costume Design: Cheryl Lalonde

Lighting Design: Ron Snippe

Stage Manager: Jackie Carpenter

Mentor: Alejandro Ronceria

Administration: Katharine Harrsion @ Dance Umbrella of Ontario

Tour Coordination: Sue Edworthy @ Dance Umbrella of Ontario

Image Design: Robert Ruby

Photography: Cylla Von Tiedemann

Kaha:wi Musical Production:

Musical Producers Santee Smith, Bob Doidge
Musical Arrangements Donald Quan with Brian Nevin @ Q-Music
Post Production Paul Reimens

Kaha:wi is made possible thanks to the support of:

National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
Grand River Employment and Training
Ontario Arts Council
Canada Council for the Arts
Laidlaw Foundation
The Chalmers Program
The Dance Umbrella of Ontario
Woodland Cultural Centre

Here On Earth

Brief Description

Here On Earth is an exploration of spiritual connection to the land, Earth as living organism, Earth as Mother, Earth as sacred. Four primal Beings journey from the Sky to touch the Earth. Each takes a path that leads them through an incredible journey of discovery and transformation. They thrive in the world of the seen and the unseen, real and intangible, of past, present, future. Time stands still as dancers become shamans transforming from humans to animals. Moving through shape and form the dancers unite in ritual expression inhabiting the land of the spirits: animal, plant and human.

“Here On Earth is where we come to live out a dream.” The content of the new work is drawn from the Iroquoian Creation Story with the existence of the Sky World and the Water World/Turtle Island. The work will embrace the belief that humans are originally Sky Dwellers who are dreaming their existence Here on Earth.

This organic and highly sensorial world is brought to life by choreographer/dancer Santee Smith, dancers Rulan Tangen, Alejandro Meraz and Anthony C. Collins, as well as, set/costume designer Christine Plunkett and lighting designer Ron Snippe. Musically accompaniment is composed by Donald Quan featuring musicians David Maracle and Rick Shadrach Lazar. The Centre for the Arts, Brock University presents Santee Smith’s world premiere of Here On Earth on February 5, 2005 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Here On Earth Cast:

Choreographer/Dancer: Santee Smith

Dancers:
Rulan Tangen
Alejandro Meraz
Anthony C. Collins

Composer: Donald Quan

Set/Costume Design: Christine Plunkett

Lighting Design: Ron Snippe

Stage Manager: Jackie Carpenter

Administration: Katharine Harrsion @ Dance Umbrella of Ontario

Tour Coordination: Sue Edworthy @ Dance Umbrella of Ontario

Photography: Cylla Von Tiedemann

Here On Earth Musical Production:

Musical Producers: Donald Quan and Santee Smith
Recording and Mastering: Donald Quan with Brian Nevin @ Q-Music
Featured Musicians: David Maracle (flute, vocal, drum, digeridoo) and Rich Shadrach Lazar (percussion)

Here On Earth is made possible thanks to the support of:

National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
Ontario Arts Council
Laidlaw Foundation
Dreamcatchers Fund - Six Nations
Brock University
The Dance Umbrella of Ontario


Friend's Thanks: