Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver Olympics’


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Not much else to say about this one, other than let the video (there’s an ad first), and Ke$ha, speak for herself.

“I think it came across like we were just having a good time onstage, like, just playing dress-up. And I was kind of making an ass of myself at the end, but whatever. I was having a good time. I hope it was infectious,” she says, as recounted here.

Infectious? Or, maybe, toxic?

People apparently will continue to think of indigenous-style dress as some sort of costume, but as Russian ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin found out at the Vancouver Olympics (see previous post, here) it’s not exactly a winning move.

The pair persisted in wearing a controversial aboriginal costume for one of their routines. Despite the pair’s insistence that they meant to honor Australian aboriginal people, the routine was not a crowd pleaser.

Maybe Ke$ha didn’t watch the Olympics.

“I wanted to look like a warrior for irreverence and dance commander,” Ke$sha says.

She apparently had some concerns about her get-up, but maybe not the right ones. According to this report, Ke$ha tweeted after her performance:

“yo yo yo – errything im wearing tonight on idol is FAUX (FAKE) fur and recycled feathersss.. just to let yall know kittenzz.. luvluvluv x.”

Yeah. Well. Sounds like so much blah, blah, blah.

Gwen Florio

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It’s been great, hasn’t it? Talk about a showcase for indigenous performers. Every night, we’d think the show at the First Nations Pavilion couldn’t possibly match the previous night’s – but it always did.

Tonight’s performance is called “The Road Forward” with Evan Adams, Pura Fe’, Leela Gilday, Byron Chief Moon, Jennifer Kreisberg, Michelle St. John and Kevin Loring.

Adams is an actor featured in “Smoke Signals” (He said: “Some days, it’s a good day to die. Some days, it’s a good day to have breakfast.”) and now is a physician serving aboriginal communities. Watch a video interview with him here.

Pura Fe’ and Jennifer Kresiberg, both Tuscarora, sing with the a capella women’s group Ulali. See previous post with video, here.

Actor, artist and dancer Byron Chief Moon is Blood and Cree, and also is a Two-Spirit person. Watch an interview with him here.

Leela Gilday (video above) is a North Slavey Dene singer with a big, big voice from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Here‘s her MysSpace page.

Michelle St. John, who is Cree, has starred in several films, including 1989′s “Where the Spirit Lives,” about aboriginal children being removed from their homes. Watch an excerpt below.

Kevin Loring of Vancouver is a member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation. His first play, “Where the Blood Mixes,” won second prize in the Canada-wide Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition a couple of years ago. Check out an excerpt here.

Enjoy, and let’s keep looking for all of the artists featured in the last two weeks.

Gwen Florio

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Tonight’s show is called Crossing Bridges, featuring Jason Burnstick, who is Cree from the Duffield reserve in Alberta.

Here’s the official blurb on him:

Jason Burnstick is a remarkable guitarist whose eclectic range and musical wit make him a favourite of the national Aboriginal recording and producing arena. This evening, Jason unpacks a whole new show featuring all kinds of tunes, guitars, pedals, gadgets and gizmos.

Check out his MySpace page, here.

And enjoy the video above, which shows Burnstick accompanying Tinsel Korey at the 2008 Aboriginal Achievement awards.

For a complete schedule of events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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This evening’s lineup at the First Nations Pavilion features Coastal Wolfpack, Whitefish Juniors and Meewasin Oma.

Coastal Wolfpack (watch them in the video above) performs traditional Musqueam and Stó:lo songs. Then, Saskatchewan’s Meewasin Oma sings peyote prayer songs (video below). Finally, the Whitefish Juniors sing powwow songs (bottom video).

For the full schedule of events this week at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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It’s a two-part evening tonight: First up, aboriginal short films introduced and presented by Bird Runningwater, associate director of the Native American and Indigenous Programs at the 2009 Sundance International Film Festival.

He’ll be followed by a band that, as the promotional material says, “has pretty much won all the available music awards this country has to offer. Musical sensation Eagle & Hawk will rock out at the Chiefs’ House.”

If you’re not familiar with them, you really, really want to watch the video below. There are plenty more on YouTube, and on their Web site, here.

Meanwhile, for the full schedule of events this week at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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No breaking Native American news here – just something I found yesterday while looking for music videos of Cary Morin, a Fort Collins, Colo., a musician who performed at the Vancouver Olympics. (See that post, here.) Morin made this video from the Crow Fair in Montana in 2002 – prehistory, in the world of YouTube – and I really enjoyed watching it. Sometimes it’s good just to stop and take a few moments to appreciate things.

Gwen Florio

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Tonight’s simply titled program at the First Nations Pavilion, Drums and Voices, says it all. It’s all about percussion and singing, with styles that span the globe. Featured are Valerie Naranjo, Steven Alvarez, Pura Fe’ and Cary Morin.

Pura Fe’ (video above) is a founding member of the Native women’s a capella group Ulali, and is of Tuscarora and Puerto Rican ancestry. Here’s her Web site.

When people refer to Ute percussionist Valerie Dee Naranjo as world-renowned, they mean it literally. She’s won an African xylophone percussionist in Africa, and also has played with the Saturday Night Live band, according to this piece. Watch her in the the video below.

Steven Alavarez is Mescalero Apache. Here‘s a link to his solo timpani performance at the National Museum of the American Indian.

And Cary Morin, from Fort Collins, Colo., performs on his own, as well as with Pura Fe’. Catch him on his MySpace page, here.

Gwen Florio

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The promo for tonight’s performance at the First Nation’s Pavilion describes it this way: An explosive evening of DJs, rappers and hip-hop royalty. Don’t miss as artists such as Feenix, Team Rez Official, Ostwelve, Kaiva and Def 3 rip it up on stage.

We say, we defy anyone to to listen to this and not dance.

Watch Feenix on the video above.

And, you can watch a video of Team Rez Official below (warning: not safe for work!).

Nunavut’s Kaiva, led by Li’l Bear, brought break dancing to the youth of Nunavummiut. Find out more, here.

Vancouver’s Ostwelve, aka Ron Dean Harris, was born into Coast Salish and Sto:Lo territoritory, according to his MySpace page, which has all sorts of other interesting information about him.

And here’s the MySpace page for Def3, who’s based in Regina, Saskatchewan.

For a complete schedule of events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin rub their noses together after performing their original dance tonight during the ice dance figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin rub their noses together after performing their original dance tonight during the ice dance figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)


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Domnina and Shabalin in their original costumes with more paint and darker body stockings. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Domnina and Shabalin in their original costumes with more paint and darker body stockings. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post, here, calls the decision by Russian ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin to stick with the aboriginal costumes and music that spurred so much controversy “bizarre, to say the least.”

The pair skated in the original dance portion of the ice dancing competition in a routine that brought outrage from Australia’s aboriginal community after it debuted last month in Estonia.

They toned it down some: While both still wear brown body stockings adorned with leaves, and Shabalin wears a loincloth, the body stockings in question are lighter and Domnina no longer has white paint on her face.

And, while they scored well, audience response was decidedly tepid. Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the night’s competition, with Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White coming in second. Domnina and Shabalin ended up in third.

In a Sydney Morning Herald editorial, Bev Manton, chairwoman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, writes:

“Our dance, our ceremony and even how we look is the basis of much of our culture. Our designs and images have evolved over 60,000 years. We’re understandably fond of them, and we don’t like seeing them ripped off and painted onto someone’s body for a sporting contest.”

Members of the Four Host First Nations met with the pair last week and talked with them about cultural sensitivity, then gave them wool blankets with Coast Salish designs. The pair displayed those blankets after skating the compulsory portion of the competition a couple of nights ago, draping them over their shoulders as they awaited their winning scores.

Gwen Florio

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Blues Indigo is the theme, with yet another lineup that gives us the blues because we aren’t there.

Murray Porter, who is Mohawk from the Six Nations Reserve, starts off the evening. Porter’s performance on the Steinway piano designed especially for the Olympics is featured in the video above. Here’s his MySpace page.

Then there’s Leanne Goose, who is Dene/Inuvialuit from the Arctic Circle town of Inuvik in the far western Northwest Territories, just a slice of the Yukon between it and Alaska. Experience her high-energy roots music in the video below, or on her Web site.

Rounding out the evening are performances by Shakti Hayes, Jared Sowan (also on MySpace), and Pat Braden, (here, on MySpace).

For a complete schedule of events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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