Artists fuse hip hop and First Nation hoop dancing

Hip hop hoop dance, sponsored by the Organization of Saskatchewan Art Councils, is touring 14 schools in the province in October, including Pewasenakwan Primary School in Onion Lake, Paradise Hill School and McKitrick Community School in North Battleford.

World champion hoop dancer, Terrance Littletent, collaborating with interdisciplinary artist, Chancz Perry, produce a cross-cultural fusion of First Nation hoop dance and North American hip hop. Both engaging performers share a historical, educational and inspirational outlook of the two dance genres, according to an OSAC press release.

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Littletent is from the Kawacatoose Cree Nation and born in Regina. Much of his traditional teachings were inherited through his family and elders, singers and dancers, storytellers and academics. Littletent is an accomplished grass and hoop dancer who has travelled across Canada, the United States and overseas, sharing his gift of song, dance and narrative, in humble way.

At the age of six, Littletent had already been introduced to the traditional techniques and movement skills used to create his own dance choreography. By the age of eight, Littletent’s uncle, Kirby Littletent, presented him with the gift of the hoop, which inspired Littletent to continue his uncle’s legacy of sharing the ways of their people.

Eleven years later, Littletent became recognized as a world-renowned hoop dancer. As an educator, producer and performer, Littletent continues to find ways to bridge traditional and contemporary dance and cultural liaison, working with community school students in music styles.

Perry is certified in early childhood education, has a BFA in dance, and a BA in criminology from Simon Fraser University. Aside from spending his time in graduate studies exploring the utility in art therapy programming at the University of Regina, Perry has spent over 30 years in the entertainment industry – on stage, screen and behind the scenes.

This multifaceted producer, choreographer, and triple-threat performer, was nominated for two Jessie Richardson Awards and is the recipient of the Vancouver Sun Reader’s Choice Award for Entertainer of the Year. Some film and theatre credits include Mr. Magoo, Bye Bye Birdie, Charlie Horse Music Pizza, West Side Story, Kiss Me Kate, Five Guys Named Moe, and the Gabriel Dumont Wild West Show.

While continuing his practice as an interdisciplinary artist, Perry has been an artist in residence in Regina Public Schools and a sessional instructor at the University of Regina (Media, Arts and Performance Department; Kinesiology and Health Studies Department). He also carried several positions at Globe Theatre where he was the educational outreach facilitator who helped to bring creation-based theatre programming into marginalized schools and community organizations, the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series co-ordinator who helped local artists and production teams to platform theatrical creations and a Theatre School Faculty specializing in creative expression with children of various ages.

 

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