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Posted: 11/06/13

The Lakota Sioux American Indian Dance Theatre will be performing on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts.

(Photo courtesy of the Kohler Arts Center)

Experience Native American
culture through dance and music

      The Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre will be performing "Cokata Upo! Come to the Center," a three-part work that celebrates the culture of the Lakota people.
       Set against a backdrop of spectacular video imagery and accompanied by live traditional, sacred, and courting songs, narratives and creation stories are woven into the fabric of the performance. Under the direction of choreographer Henry Smith, the company includes some of the most highly acclaimed championship performers of the Sioux Nation.
       The performance will take place Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts.
       The Lakota Sioux American Indian Dance Theatre was founded in 1978 on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota with the support of traditional Lakota Indian educators, healers, community leaders, championship pow-wow dancers, singers, and storytellers.
       The Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre repertoire is more about culture than dance, and it's one of the few touring dance companies which focus on traditional dance rather than new choreography.
       "We absolutely try to make it an experience," said Smith, head of the Indian dance theater. "What we want to cultivate is an appreciation of the depth of the Lakota."
       The 12-member troupe performs its Grass and Buffalo dances and its Eagle and Horse dances - the dances of the Lakota Sioux tribe, performed through the centuries at formal ceremonies, passed on through the generations.
       The performance includes narratives and creation stories as well as the traditional costumes and dances of the tribe.
       "This troupe, which brings together assorted performers from several factions of the Lakota people, is one way some Lakota are reconnecting with themselves and their proud heritage. By taking their act on the road, they enable others to enjoy the rebirth of their traditions as well," wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer.
       Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theatre has educated, entertained and enlightened audiences all over the world for more than three decades and was featured in the opening celebration of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The company communicates the powerful messages and resonance of Dance and Song in Plains Indian Society - at the center of a living history and oral tradition in American Indian society.
       "Cokata Upo! Come to the Center" is the story of the birth, death and rebirth of a nation, experience what the New York Times describes as a ". . . great sense of theatricality . . . a visual treat . . . more than a spectacle . . . A ritual celebration that made dancing a ceremonial act."
       Tickets are $38 gold circle, $33 house, $20 student and $15 for children 12 and under (seniors, students and military save $5 off regular priced tickets). Purchase tickets in person at the Macomb Center box office Monday through Thursday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and Friday noon-6 p.m. The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts is located on Macomb Community College's Center Campus at 44575 Garfield Road in Clinton Township. Tickets and additional information, including a complete season schedule, are available online at or by calling (586) 286-2222.

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