On a beautiful, sunny late-January day in Point Reyes, Eddie Madril put on two energetic performances of his Sewam Dance of the Plains Indians assembly, as well as a follow-up workshop for 250 PreK–8th grade students at Dance Palace. Many local students attended, as did students who were bussed in from Bolinas-Stinson Union School District, and from all over the Shoreline Unified School District. Eddie Madril, is a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora Mexico, and his 50-minute performance introduced students to several Native American dances including the Grass Dance, and Hoop Dance. The origins and meanings of each song and dance were explained to the audience, as he performed.
Eddie’s handmade regalia is artwork unto itself. The colorful feathers, embroidery and beadwork bring even more life to his dances. During the assemblies and workshop, Eddie explained the significance of what he wore in relation to the cultural history and traditions of various Native American tribes.
As always, the hoop dance was a particular highlight. Eddie put on a breathtaking performance of the very complicated dance. Using eight hoops, Eddie transformed himself into several forms, including a bird. The audible audience reactions clearly showed how awestruck the students were. Selected students and teachers experienced firsthand how challenging was to work with the hoops when Eddie asked them up to the stage during the workshop component of the morning. He had them use different methods to try to pick the hoops up with their feet, to varying levels of success. Everyone has a wonderful time!
A special thank you to the California Arts Council for their generous support of this program!