National Museum of the American Indian’s ‘Summer Dance!’ Program Features Hoop Dancing, Music

Ty Defoe Teaches Native Culture Through Movement at Monthlong Series
June 23, 2016
News Release
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Dancer with yellow hoops

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center in New York will present hoop dancer Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe), a performer who incorporates Native stories, flute demonstrations and vocal songs in his cultural presentations. Beginning the second week of July, the museum’s “Summer Dance!” program hosts Defoe Tuesday through Thursday in the Diker Pavilion for Native Arts and Cultures. Performance dates are July 12–14, 19–21 and 26–28 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. Admission is free.

Against the backdrop of the exhibition, “Circle of Dance,” a dynamic exhibition of dance regalia from Native peoples across the Americas, Defoe engages audiences in cultural discussions and leads them through performances of indigenous instruments. His dancing brings with it a message of beauty; the hoops serve as symbols of interdependence and unity.

Defoe, who is also known as Giizhig, sang on the Grammy Award-winning album, Come to Me Great Mystery: Native American Healing Songs. He is a cultural pioneer, writer and musician and holds degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Goddard College and New York University’s Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts.

About the National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum’s George Gustav Heye Center is located at One Bowling Green in New York City. For additional information, including hours and directions, visit Follow the museum via social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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