Spirit Dance a new theatrical production, may do for Native American culture what Riverdance has done for Irish culture. The show, which features a cast of 70 in a fervent display of Native-American dancing and drumming, will make its debut on Aug. 7 & 9 at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, WI. It will be taped and broadcast in December on Public Television stations across the country.
Spokesman Peter Holmes a Court of Back Row Productions, which is producing the show, said the video was partly intended to stir interest in the show, fueling a planned tour for the spring of 1999. The tape will also be available for purchase.
Spirit Dance boasts a creative team of disparate talents. Broadway veteran Wayne Cilento (The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed...) is choreographer of the piece. The show's composer, Peter Buffett, is a Milwaukee-based musician whose credits include the film soundtracks Dance With Wolves and The Scarlet Letter. Chief Hawk Pope, meanwhile, in addition being lyricist, vocalist and musical collaborator on the project, is the Chief of the Shawnee remnant tribe.
Holmes a Court said that the show would not incorporate sacred dances, but instead created new dances in the Native-American tradition. Though several tribal styles of dance and music are represented in the show, the predominant language in Shawnee, he said.
For information on the Green Bay performance, call 1-800-328-TKTS. -- By Robert Simonson