Native Dance celebrated in the Twin Cities


The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is proud to share an update on Oyate Okodakiciyapi , a performance and full schedule of community engagement activities, led by Artist Fellows Rosy Simas, Christopher K. Morgan, and Rulan Tangen.

For those in Minnesota, we encourage  you to take advantage of this full week celebrating Native American, Indigenous and First Nations arts and cultures!

Details and Schedule Courtesy of Rosy Simas Danse:

As part of its 2016-17 season focus on the artistry and culture of Native communities, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is excited to welcome several renowned Native American, Indigenous and First Nations artists for a week-long residency. The residency is part of Oyate Okodakiciyapi: A Unique Celebration of Native Music and Dance, an Ordway community engagement series guided by community coordinator Christal Moose and an advisory council of Native and Indigenous community leaders, in collaboration with Rosy Simas of Rosy Simas Danse.

The residency, which consists of public performances, in-school visits, workshops, community discussions and exhibitions, will take place Feb. 26-March 5. Community events are produced in partnership with All My Relations Arts, Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), Two Rivers Gallery and The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts. 
Sunday, Feb. 26
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
at The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
Presented by The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse and Ordway. This public talk highlights the incredible diversity of Native people who live and dance in the Twin Cities. Guest speakers include Athena Cloud, Lumhe Sampson, Rosy Simas, Winona Tahdooahnippah, Sandy WhiteHawk and Larry Yazzie. Opening prayer led by Janice Bad Moccasin. Optional travel to and from the event on a Storytelling Bus featuring “Coffee Shop” Al Gross from Powwow Grounds is also available.
Tuesday, Feb. 28
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. at Two Rivers Gallery
In partnership with Rosy Simas Danse and Two Rivers Gallery. This workshop is led by Rulan Tangen, founding director and choreographer of Dancing Earth, an internationally recognized company of intertribal contemporary dancers. Rooted in respect for Native worldview and cultural wisdom as shared by her elders and mentors, Tangen invites class participants to experience a journey into indigenous embodiment. The workshop is free, but registration is required. RSVP at 651.282.3060 or
Tuesday, Feb. 28
6:00 p.m. at Two Rivers Gallery
In partnership with Rosy Simas Danse, All My Relations Arts, NACDI and Two Rivers Gallery. Come together with artists and community members to welcome several visiting renowned Native contemporary dancers and artists. The opening blessing will be done by Nancy Bordeaux. Catering by Gatherings Café will be provided. On display in the Two Rivers Gallery will be Gathering of Contemporary Indigenous Artists, an exhibition curated by Gordon Coons (Ojibwa/Ottawa).
Wednesday, March 1
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
This high-energy Powwow/dance training class will be led by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s artistic director, Santee Smith. This intensive and fun boot camp style workout is for anyone interested in maximizing their physical fitness. Participants will practice skills in the Indigenous dance forms of Powwow and Onkehon:we (Iroquois) social dances. The class is free, but registration is required. RSVP at 651.282.3060 or
Friday, March 3
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. (opening reception) at All My Relations Gallery
Presented by All My Relations Arts in partnership with Rosy Simas Danse and Ordway. Tanya Lukin Linklater’s performance collaborations, videos, photographs and installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is compelled by relationships between bodies, histories, poetry, pedagogy, Indigenous conceptual spaces (languages) and institutions. The visual art installation will be on view March 3–April 7.
Saturday, March 4
3:00 p.m. at All Nations Church
Presented by NACDI in partnership with Ordway. Enjoy dinner by The Sioux Chef while engaging in a talk about the Indigenous food movement. Hosted by Robert Lilligren, president and CEO of NACDI. The event is free, but registration is required. RSVP at or 612.284.1102. Donation of $5 are not necessary but encouraged.
At 5:30 p.m., free transportation to and from Oyate Okodakiciyapi: An Evening of Native Contemporary Dance at the Ordway will be provided. The Storytelling Bus will feature “Coffee Shop” Al Gross from Powwow Grounds.
Saturday, March 4
7:30 p.m. at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Co-curated with local choreographer Rosy Simas, Ordway presents a showcase of Native contemporary dance companies called Oyate Okodakiciyapi, which means “people coming together” in the Dakota language. This thrilling evening of dance will feature solo works by native Hawaiian Christopher K. Morgan and Santee Smith from the Mohawk Nation, as well as a new work by Dancing Earth, an indigenous, intertribal dance ensemble. Tickets are available at This performance is part of the Ordway’s World Music & Dance Series.
Arrive early for a pre-show Ordway Extra at 6:30 p.m. to hear Zoë Klein, artistic director/performer at Paradizo Dance in San Francisco, and Tanya Lukin Linklater, a multi-media artist from Ontario, explore defining culture in contemporary terms in a discussion moderated by Rosy Simas.
On display in the lobby will be Gathering of Contemporary Indigenous Artists, a visual art exhibition curated by Gordon Coons (Ojibwa/Ottawa). Themes explored through the art will connect with Native American and Indigenous identity. The exhibition is free to those attending Ordway performances March 2-4, April 20-21 and May 30-June 4. Featured artists include Camille A. Lacapa (Hopi-Tewa/Ojibway), Cole Jacobson (Lakota), Chholing Taha (Cree), Gordon Coons (Ojibwa/Ottawa), Gwen Westerman (Lakota) and Joseph Allen (Lakota).
Sunday, March 5
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
In partnership with Rosy Simas Danse, The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts and All My Relations Arts. Featuring conversation with Tanya Lukin Linklater, Christopher K. Morgan, Maura Garcia, Rulan Tangen, Zoë Klein, Sam Mitchell and Rosy Simas. The discussion will touch on current work, aesthetics, challenges, methods, audiences, community engagement and plans for the future.
All events associated with the residency are free, with the exception of the March 4 showcase performance, which is a ticketed event. More information about the events listed above can be found at The Ordway’s World Music & Dance Series is sponsored by Target.
The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading nonprofit performing arts centers and Saint Paul’s most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway’s Music Theater and Concert Hall attract diverse audiences with an array of productions showcasing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance and vocal performance. Education and community engagement are integral to the Ordway’s mission, with major initiatives including the annual Flint Hills International Children’s Festival and Ordway Education programs that serve more than 50,000 students annually. Together with Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and The Schubert Club, the Ordway is a member of the Arts Partnership and serves as the principal venue for their performances. For more information, visit