The Traditional Songs Workshop supports Indigenous safe-spaces in Mannahatta by creating opportunities to engage with traditional and community practices. Through the power of the voice and collective harmony, this gathering honors Native American and Pacific Islander languages, stories, and world views expressed in song, music, and ritual. This reflective and inclusive program will be facilitated by Jack Gray (Ngati Porou, Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahungunu), A/P/A Institute at NYU Spring 2016 Artist-in-Residence.
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Jack Gray (Ngati Porou, Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahungunu) is an acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and scholar. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Gray first connected to his cultural roots through traditional Māori dance, Kapa Haka, and later discovered contemporary dance. In 2000, he founded the Atamira Dance Company, an all Māori contemporary dance theatre, which has since become one of the nation’s premiere dance companies. Gray is committed to developing Indigenous epistemologies as a crossover into mainstream practices of dance and theatre. Since 2012, he has fostered an intercultural network of communities in the United States, activating cultural awareness and promoting strategies for Indigenous empowerment. He has collaborated with Dancing Earth Creations (New Mexico), Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum (Hawai‘i), University of California, Riverside, and University of California, Berkeley, among many organizations and institutions. He is the Spring 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.
Photo by Jinki Cambronero.