17 December 2018

KEVIN LOCKE/USA – NATIVE SPRITUAL MUSIC AND DANCE PERFORMANCE

December 17, 2018

YENIMAHALLE NAZIM HİKMET CULTURAL CENTER

Presentation: “GOBEKLİTEPE” - Sergen Çirkin

 

The evening will start with the presentation by Media Writer, Shamanism Researcher Archeolog Sergen Çirkin, on Gobeklitepe, which has changed the understanding of archaeology and human history since its discovery.

There are substantial grounds to claim that the most significant archaeological discovery of the 21st century is the Göbeklitepe (Potbelly Hill). First of all, it dates back to 12 thousand years ago. In other words, it's 4 thousand years older than the pyramids and 7 thousand years older than the Stonehenge. Furthermore, it is even older than the human transition to settled life. Therefore, contrary to the widely held view, it proves existence of religious beliefs prior to the establishment of the first cities.

Findings of researchers at Göbeklitepe shows that a religious class existed even at such early ages, division of society into social classes took place well before the widely assumed dates and perhaps the first agricultural activity may have been conducted in the region. As a result, all this new information has been added to the collective knowledge of the humanity and into the history books. On the merits of its contribution to the human history, Göbeklitepe was inscribed to the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage as the "birth place of civilisation". And in 2018, Göbeklitepe was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Discovery That Changed The Human History

While the discovery of Göbeklitepe site took place in 1963, the first scientific excavation started in 1995, eventual findings of which added new pages to the history, changing long standing assumptions. Rather than being used as a settlement, the area actually served religious purposes and contain a number of temples. In that respect, it is not only the oldest centre of worship, but also the largest one. Although six of those temples were unearthed to date, on the basis of geomagnetic surveys, the total number of those monumental structures is believed to be twenty, with all temples sharing a resemblance to each other, making this entire region suggestive of being a centre of faith and pilgrimage during the Neolithic Age. There are six-meter-tall T-shaped stone pillars, carved with reliefs of animals, erected to form circles. Those carvings that maybe the earliest three dimensional depictions of animals carved into stone are testament to the artistic ability of our ancestors. Professor Klaus Schmidt, who had led the excavation work in the site for 20 years, firmly states that the T-shaped stone pillars represented human figures since some of them have carvings of hands and fingers.


And... Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble will Present:

 

North American Indigenous Flute Presentation

Kevin Locke, Native Flute, Dance & Story teller

Dancers:

Patricia Locke

Ria Thundercloud

Charles Denny

All of our programs include the 4 instruments used to create music.  Though simple each instrument is powerful in that they represents an element of the thunders - the elemental force that is the harbinger and sustainer of the seasons of fecundity and life (Spring ad Summer).

- the drum is the thunder clap that is summons for all of life to awaken from hibernation and stir back to life

- the rattle is the rain and hail that cleanses and moisturizes the earth that life may appear.

- the voice is the lightning that electrifies and charges the world with the spirit of animation and life.

- the flute is the wind that purifies and breaths life into the world , upon which the spirit of life is wafted and restored to the world.

In North America the flute is used to instrumentalize vocal compositions that express romantic themes, much as the birds that coax life into the world.  This is one of the oldest musical traditions that all members of the human family share.  I am one of just a few individuals that actively perpetuates the traditional musical genres specific to what makes the North American Indigenous flute unique.

 

Man’s Fancy Dance

A dance style originating in the North American plains that captures geography, the vastness, the power, the dynamism of the prairies and all its inhabitants:

- the endurance and strength of the bison

- the grace of the antelope and deer

- the speed of the antelope

- the speed and flexibility of the cougar

- the spirit of the horse

- the majesty of the eagle

- the agility of the swallow

- the balance of the mountain goat

 

Woman’s Fancy Shawl Dance

Fancy shawl dancers are often said to resemble butterflies. The shawl that gives the dance its name—a fringed, colorful, often beaded or appliquéd adaptation of the traditional women’s blanket—extends over the length of the dancer’s “wingspan.” Being light on one’s feet is a must, so the simile applies.  In this unique performance, young women from many nations skim, twirl and hop across the arena with a gait that manages to be staccato, lithe and fluid all at once. The intersection of joy and restraint, discipline and energy is also seen in the regalia. The fringed shawl, moccasins and leggings are found on virtually every competitor, along with a flared skirt that might be attached to a top, and a beaded overlay, usually a vest or yoke. Practical considerations apply—the strenuous dance makes adequate ventilation essential. (Wearing buckskin is allowed in women’s fancy shawl competitions, but its weight and lack of breathability means that it is used strictly as an accent).

 

The Hoop of Life Presentation

The hoop dance is a choreographed prayer invoking the universal metaphor of the hoop - a symbol that for all peoples represents; peace, unity, beauty, balance, continuity and harmony.  It is a prayer that we may all be restored to wholeness and wellbeing; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually not just as individuals but collectively with all of humankind and creation.  It is the design that the one Creator has stamped upon all of creation and connects us with that whole.  The hoops of 4 colors represents the extensive paradigm of 4’s which includes; directions, winds, seasons, phases of day and night, stages of the moon, sun and stars, the stages of life as we progress through childhood, parenthood, grandparent hood and great grandparenthood.  The colors also invoke human diversity… the hoops of humanity.  Since homes and communities are all in the shape of a hoop, the design is also synonymous with the socio-political configurations of human society.  The 28 hoops used in the dance represents the days of the particular 28 day lunar cycle when all of the signs of Spring appear.  Since the multi colored hoops represent human diversity, the hoop designs symbolize the life and vitality that appear when diverse kindreds unite in ever changing tableaus of designs portraying signs of Spring.  The Spring time is of the unity of humankind.  A Spring time that Autumn shall never overtake and which is foretold and anticipated (in diverse symbolism) by all peoples.  The Hoop of Life presentation is a 60-90 min presentation that incorporates North American Indigenous Flute music/songs, sign language/prayer, hoop dance explanation and presentation by Kevin Locke incorporating 28 hoops and ending with a participatory hoop dance, taught briefly by Kevin Locke to audience members.  The program often ends with audience members of all ages performing the hoop dance with Kevin and doing a round dance (friendship song) together led by Kevin.

 


Artist's Statement:

I have had a lifelong drive to explore and create.  In 1972 Richard Fool Bull the foremost exemplar and practitioner of the Indigenous North American flute urged me to take up and perpetuate this unique and precious heritage that has evolved and developed here in this continent from time immemorial.  It was through him and many other elders that I caught a glimpse of the dreams, hopes and visions that have propelled our ancestors.  Those elders have departed but their spirit lives through the traditions they have passed on to us and comes alive when we actively engage younger generations in their perpetuation.  We can realize the fulfillment of those dreams on their behalf. When I first started with the flute I wanted to develop a repertoire.  Fortunately when I started in the mid 1970’s many of the older generation had a great knowledge of the unique vocal genre from which the flute melodies are derived and I was able to obtain a vast reservoir of this special genre. The current popularized “Native American flute” was invented in 1980 for commercial purposes in that it uses the well-known “melodic” or minor pentatonic scale and lends itself to improvisation.  I differentiate that from the original Indigenous North American flute, which is much more versatile and has a wider range of notes and is perfectly adapted to play not only chromatic, diatonic and pentatonic scales but its note progression is able to capture the authentic Indigenous North American musical esthetic.  Simultaneous with acquiring flute music, I also received the gift of the hoop dance, and learned that it is a choreographed prayer which invokes unity, beauty, holiness and is used to draw the people into this timeless, placeless realm.

Indigenous North American tradition lacks the concept of arts as entertainment.  As an Indigenous North American residing and performing mostly in North America it is challenging to operate in a dominant culture with values and esthetics so diametrically different to the millennia old spiritual heritage of this land.  At this late point in my career, it is enriching to present at school settings conducive to educating around underlying spirit, long established in pre-immigrant North America. So often in the contemporary culture of North America, the arts are used as a distraction, something trivial, superfluous or relegated to a means of escaping reality.  In Indigenous North America the arts, especially music, is the primary means of connecting to that which is universal, eternal, holy and good… the means of connecting to that which is real and escaping the shadow world of imagination which is destined to fade and disappear. I aspire to present the authentic North American artistic traditions used to connect humankind to the natural world, to meld the physical and secular to the sacred and eternal, to bridge the perceived gap that separates the generations, to bring all people into hoop of life. Every people and culture has folk arts; expressions that have been passed down intergenerational and over time have come portray universal human values of beauty, balance, symmetry, unity.  During my 40 year touring career to nearly 100 countries I have found that folk arts have universal validity and appreciation that transcend the vortex of pop culture.  It is as if our ancestors are calling out to us and enabling us to offer these gifts as contributions to an emerging global civilization.

My aim as an artist who reaches a primarily younger (school age) audience is to encourage and inspire this younger generation to a global vision in which they see themselves as integral and active participants.

 


Tickets: 40 TL - 30 TL

Students: 25 TL - 20 TL


We’d like to extend our gratitude to the Municipality of Yenimahalle for providing the venue.