“Tsu Heidei Shugaxtutaan part 1”

A contemporary break dance inspired piece, danced to a traditional First Nation soundtrack. Performance by David Elsewhere.

As I mentioned on Friday, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ new exhibition of Native American art is particularly compelling because of the way it intersperses video throughout the galleries.

One screen shows two videos in rotation, and it’s their juxtaposition which is fascinating. The first shows a modern hip-hop dancer performing to a traditional First Nation soundtrack. The second video shows a traditional dance, but now the music is a modern electronic beat. Together they’re titled “Tsu Heidei Shugaxtutaan: We will again open this container of wisdom that has been left in our care.”

The creator of both videos, Nicholas Galanin, was born in Sitka, Alaska and his career as an artist has simultaneously taken on the preservation of his native heritage along with an exploration of cutting edge contemporary ideas.

The viewer is led to question “what is modern?” and “what is traditional?” all the while remarking upon how the different music and movement actually pair quite well together.

“Tsu Heidei Shugaxtutaan part 2”

A convergence of two dynamic forces meet as electro-beats pound to the steps of a traditional dance, performance by Dan Littlefield.

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