Cameron University presents acclaimed Lakota hoop dancer and Northern Plains flute player Kevin Locke in free performance

The Cameron University Department of Music is pleased to present acclaimed Lakota hoop dancer and Northern Plains flute player Kevin Locke in performance on Monday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. The performance is open to the public at no charge. Locke, a Lakota and Anishinabe, will also present a free educational session for area school children at 2 p.m. The event is made possible by a grant from CU Lectures and Concerts. For more information, contact Dr. Kirsten Underwood in the CU Department of Music at 581-2445.Photo of Kevin Locke

Locke’s belief in the unity of human kind is expressed dramatically in the traditional hoop dance, which, he says, illustrates “the roles and responsibilities that all human beings have within the hoops (or circles) of life.” The hoop dance, a traditional dance among Plains tribes, is a celebration of the annual rebirth of nature that occurs each spring. The spiritual significance of the dance begins with the hoops themselves, which are made or either wood or reed and total 28 in number, each one representing a day in the lunar cycle. The complexity of the Lakota hoop dance will be on full display. Forming rapidly changing patterns with hoops while dancing to powwow drums and singing, Locke will capture the natural yet visionary process of life emerging from the darkness of winter into the bright exuberance of spring. The hoops represent unity, while the four colors of the hoops – black, red, yellow and white – represent the four directions, seasons and winds. 

Locke is acknowledged to be the pivotal force in the now powerful revival of the indigenous flute tradition which teetered on the brink of extinction only 20 years ago.In1990, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which recognized him as a “Master Traditional Artist who has contributed to the shaping of our artistic traditions and to preserving the cultural diversity of the United States.”

For more than two decades, Locke has performed and lectured in more than 80 countries worldwide, sharing his high vision of balance, joy and diversity. He has served as a cultural ambassador for the United States Information Service since 1980.

Locke has recorded 13 albums of music and stories, including “The First Flute,” winner of the Native American Music Award for best traditional recording.



January 21, 2014

PR# 14-013