March 30, 2010
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Kevin Locke performs 'The Hoop Dance of Life' at SRU
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. �- When Kevin Locke performs the Native-American hoop-dance and plays the indigenous Northern Plains flute, audiences light up with appreciation. Locke, a Native-American musician and storyteller, will perform at 8 p.m. April 14 at Slippery Rock University and said he hopes the audience picks up on his broader themes of unity.
"All people have the same impulses, spirit and goals," he said. "Through my music and dance, I want to create a positive awareness of the oneness of humanity."
Locke will perform "The Hoop Dance of Life" in the Pearl K. Stoner Instructional Complex as a featured presentation for SRU's April 14-25 Kaleidoscope Arts Festival. His performance is free.
The dance utilizes 28 hoops, which Locke uses to illustrate the natural processes of life as it emerges from the darkness of winter into the lightness of spring. The four colors of the hoops - red, black, yellow and white - represent human races, the four seasons, four winds and four directions. He will conclude the dance by interlocking the 28 hoops in spherical union to illustrate the interdependence of humanity.
"His performance is very colorful. He'll be wearing traditional regalia and moving non-stop," said Laura Stokes, a 2006 SRU graduate and activities coordinator for Locke's Lakota Performance Arts company, based in South Dakota.
Like the hoop-dance, the Northern Plaines flute symbolizes life and nature. To the Lakota/Dakota Nation, the flute is the essence of the wind and gives voice to the beauty of the land and the sound of the wind as it rustles grasses, Locke said.
Locke said the flute gives voice to seven notes: four represent the directions; one represents the heavens; another earth; and the seventh note symbolizes the heart. Locke will perform with several handmade wood flutes, including a nearly 100-year-old instrument crafted by Poweshiek of the Meskwaki Nation.
"It is so hard for people to relate one to another because we all come from different backgrounds, but no matter where we come from, we can all connect through music," Locke said.
Locke, whose Lakota name is Tikeya Inajin meaning "The First to Arise," has performed in more than 70 countries to share his vision of balance, joy and diversity. It is from his mother Patricia Locke and uncle Abraham "End-of-Horn" and many other elders that Locke received training in the values, traditions and language of his native culture.
Locke is acknowledged as a force in the revival of the indigenous flute tradition. In 1990, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Kaleidoscope Arts Festival will offer dynamic programming with an international focus, including Caribbean, Native American, African, Brazilian and Japanese performance art. Music and dance concerts, student theatre, a Children's Day program and a life-size Kaleidoscope sculpture will enhance the sensory experience for attendees of all ages.
Parking is free, as are many of the events, including the April 17 Children's Day featuring a performance by the YouTube sensation "Pop Rocks." More than 100 SRU students majoring in music, dance and theatre will perform during the festival. For the complete schedule, visit http://kaleidoscope.sru.edu/.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.