Experience traditional and contemporary Native American song and dance as local performers bring this ancient culture to life on stage during the ninth season of Native Trails,presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau invites visitors and locals to these noontime festivals Jan. 20 through April 2, 2011 where members of various Native American nations join together for rare, collaborative performances incorporating traditional instruments, colorful dances, and customary attire, showcasing their culture and encouraging respect, cooperation, and appreciation.
From noon to 1:30 p.m. most Thursdays and Saturdays, the outdoor amphitheater at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall in downtown will be immersed with the unique culture that continues to shape the state of Arizona today. Performers from tribes such as the Hopi, Dine’, Akimel O’Odham, San Carlos Apache and Cree will take the stage as they guide attendees on a unique sensory journey through time and culture that culminates in an audience-participation round dance, bringing the immersion experience full circle.
“Native Trails is an incredible opportunity to provide insight into our rich and ancient traditions,” said Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw), artistic director for Native Trails and five-time world-champion hoop dancer. “Arizona is home to more than 20 tribal nations, and Native Trails is an outlet for them to come together and collaborate to create new dances and songs. It’s an educational exploration for us and for the audience.”
The event celebrates Native American heritage and focuses on the individual cultures of these Southwest tribes. Audiences are treated to musical performances that incorporate traditional instruments such as flutes, gourds and drums, and dances ranging from Navajo dancing to the three artist hoop dance, a high energy performance with synchronized movements and cameo routines. The festival grounds also play host to Native artisans who showcase their fine artwork and skills in the form of jewelry, textiles, pottery and food. Special guests, new cast members and weekend appearances by Arizona Nations royalty will add diversity to this season of Native Trails and continue to enhance the cultural experience.
Native Trails performances began in January 2003 as part of the City of Scottsdale’s cultural tourism initiative, Culture Quest Scottsdale. The opportunity to experience Native American culture was the highest-rated arts and cultural desire revealed by the City’s study of Scottsdale tourists, which is why the program was created. Last season (January – April 2010) had an average attendance of 320 with more than 5,100 people total in attendance.
For more information on Native Trails (including black-out dates), visit www.ScottsdaleNativeTrails.com or contact the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (480) 421-1004 or toll-free at (800) 782-1117.