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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cama-i 2009

From the Bethel Counsel on the Arts website...
Camai is a Yup'ik word meaning "a warm, genuine hello." At this 3 day gathering, 22 dance groups - over 450 dancers, drummers, and singers between the ages of 2 to 92, will celebrate the Yup'ik Eskimo tradition of dance with you. The festival offers cultural renewal and immersion into indigenous dance.

“Yuraryaraq Yugtun”
The Art of Yup’ik Dancing

by Pauline Natalia Walter Haas (Tutmalria) *

“Yup’ik dancing is an expression of art, by communicating visually, by displaying movement for meaning, and by getting words across to the mind, enhancing the imagination of the story being told. The dancers are the instruments of depicting the scene or event. Yup’ik dancing requires right and left hand coordination, and is structurally organized so that the right movements are always done first, creating a symmetry, or balance of movement.

Yup’ik dance has “many” individual pieces, composed of the yuarun (chorus) which is sung eight times; the apalluk (verses) which are sung twice; and, the cauyarialnguq (displays motion to music with no singing) which is performed four times. The drummer directs the dancers with demonstrative action words that pertain to the cauyarialnguq of a particular song. As the song progresses, the motions increase in tempo and sharpness. Usually right before the song is sung for dancers to dance, the drummer introduces the song. This is called mengla, the preliminary singing to familiarize the audience. During this stage, it is customary during more formal events for dancers to stand through the beginning by leg flexing (uyungsuaq) and change from right to left hand motions with the end of the piece. Repeated pamyuas (requests for repetition “encore”) add to the number of times a piece (cauyarialnguq) is performed.
The best thing about Yup’ik dancing is that there is the positive encouragement to participate, resulting in a feeling of one belonging to a selfless contribution of making others happy.”
We even had these two present an interpretive Japanese "dance".And these Sudanese dancers...

We even had breakdancers!

It was a great time and it was great to see so many friends in from the villages. I'll post some more pics and some video later.

Also...just to give you an update...my snowmachine is fixed ($520) and rides beautifully. My thumb is fine, but sore. My truck and bank account, however, are still broken.

1 comment:

KuskoMama said...

How wonderful you got to see the Sudanese dancers - I missed them. With 5 kids in tow there's only so long you can sit in one place...