ON STAGE

Scottsdale Center to debut new Native theatrical work

‘Dancing With The Universe | Native Style’ celebrates the natural order of the universe

Posted 4/20/22

“Dancing With The Universe | Native Style,” a new theatrical work, created by Derrick Suwaima Davis that tells a story of seasons and cycles and the value of respecting the natural order of the universe, will debut next month at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

This story requires a subscription for $5.99/month.
Already a subscriber? Log in to continue. Otherwise, click here to subscribe.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in

Subscribe to our e-newsletter for continued access

Free newsletter subscribers to the Daily Independent can enjoy free access to our AP stories, Capital Media Services, earned media and special contributors on our Opinions with Civility pages. If you aren’t a free newsletter subscriber yet, join now and continue accessing more content. This does not include our exclusive content written by the newsroom. We hope you’ll consider supporting our journalism.

I am anchor
ON STAGE

Scottsdale Center to debut new Native theatrical work

‘Dancing With The Universe | Native Style’ celebrates the natural order of the universe

Posted

“Dancing With The Universe | Native Style,” a new theatrical work, created by Derrick Suwaima Davis that tells a story of seasons and cycles and the value of respecting the natural order of the universe, will debut next month at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Center, 7380 E. 2nd St.

“We all have ancestors, and ancestors around the world use the sun, moon and stars to migrate and build, all the while appreciating and encouraging the natural order of the universe,” Suwaima, who is Hopi and Choctaw, shared in a news release. “‘Dancing With The Universe | Native Style’ celebrates not only human life but our relationship with the life of the universe. I hope the audience will be inspired to carry on the important responsibility of stewardship and restore and renew Mother Earth. Live to dance, and dance to live.”

Although Suwaima created the show and serves as its artistic director, drawing on experience from his past Native Trails productions, he is quick to note how the other performers from a variety of tribal backgrounds contributed to the show’s creation, including musical composition and dancing.

Joining Suwaima for the program are performers from multiple Arizona-based tribes, including Hopi, O’odham, Diné and Apache dancers and musicians.

“We recognize our performing arts center sits on unceded and unsurrended Indigenous homelands,” Abbey Messmer, director of programming at the center, shared. “For many years, we have been honored to present numerous performances by Suwaima and his Native Trails productions, which have provided opportunities for Native artists from diverse tribes — including multiple tribes based here in Maricopa County and throughout Arizona — to share their traditional movements and music.”

Suwaima says there’s an important aspect to those shows and this new work: history. Because these productions are steeped in the traditions of various Southwest tribes, there is a prominent educational aspect that Suwaima said people tend to enjoy.

He also said the performances allow him and other Native performers to address stereotypes of Indigenous culture and people through light-hearted humor.

Suwaima began participating in powwows at the age of 3, and when the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian opened, he was honored to be designated as head man dancer at its inaugural powwow. He is the founder and artistic director of The Living Traditions Dance Troupe and an eight-time Hoop Dance World Champion.

Tickets for “Dancing With The Universe | Native Style” range from $8­ to $18.

Visit ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/events or call 480-499-TKTS (8587).

The production is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here