Native American Traditional vs Hip Hop Breakers
Maori vs Native American, and Hip Hop vs Maori
The Maori, Break Dancers, and Native Americans. Each group cherishes the opportunity to share their culture through dance.
The troupes included:
Ko Ngati Hiona Maori Culture Group of Salt Lake City, UT
Rocky Mountain American Indian Dance Group of Denver, CO
and The Soul Mechanics Krew of Colorado Springs, CO
Tekcno Powwow at University of Wyoming provided a forum for the tribes to show off, face-off, and embrace the other.
(UW Press Release) Northern Cheyenne eminent artist Bently Spang presented his performance art piece “Tekcno Pow Wow III” in the University of Wyoming Union Ballroom, in conjunction with UW’s Shepard Symposium on Social Justice.
“’Tekcno Pow Wow III’ is an audience-participatory, multimedia, group performance art piece,” says Spang. “It’s a cultural mashup that brings together multiple dance forms including powwow dancing and break dancing, along with a powwow drum and a DJ, to explore how cultures interact and influence each other in the realm of creative expression.”
By creating a charged atmosphere that combines the live event essence of powwow and hip-hop/rave with performance art and video projection, Spang challenges dancers and audience members alike to “dance a mile in each other’s moccasins, sneakers, ballet slippers, or whatever the case may be” and, in so doing, gain valuable insight into one another’s lived cultural experiences. He says the program challenges the notion that some cultures, in particular Native American cultures, are static.
“Everyone feels they know who native peoples are, and yet they continually put us in one time period,” Spang says. “You never hear ‘Indian’ and ‘future’ mentioned in the same sentence.”
Spang holds an MFA in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Montana College in Billings. He has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and at Montana State University in Billings.
Funding from the Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowment, awarded to the American Indian Studies Program, sponsors Spang’s residency at UW. A grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund will partially sponsor the Tekcno Pow Wow.
Produced by University of Wyoming Television
Videographers: Ali Grossman and Cameron Patey, Assistant Editor: Glen Carpenter, Editor: Ali Grossman, UWTV