Indigenous Enterprise: Increasing Native American Representation 「原民大業」舞團 (Indigenous Enterprise)

Led by Kenneth Shirley, the Native American dance troupe Indigenous Enterprise has quickly gained attention since its founding in 2015. Not only did they feature in a music video with Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, but they also performed at the Sydney Opera House in 2019. The Troupe consists of champion dancers from Canada and the United States; these members are young, and most of them were introduced to the traditions of tribal dance at an early age, while attending powwows -- multi-tribe gatherings of Native people that occur regularly across North America. The troupe’s repertoire embraces a variety of traditional dance styles, including Fancy dance, an athletic style done in feathered bustles, Jingle dance, for which women wear dresses festooned with rows of jingly metal cones, and the Prairie Chicken Dance, which is said to have come from the prairie chicken’s spring time mating dance. For the Indigenous Enterprise dancers, most of these dances are healing dances.

The aim of the Indigenous Enterprise is to increase Native American representation. Growing up, Shirley felt the lack of it. “We want to be seen and for Native kids to see that they are included,” he said.

由肯尼斯‧薛利 (Kenneth Shirley)領軍的原住民舞團「原民大業」(Indigenous Enterprise),自2015年創立後,旋即受到各界矚目。該團不只曾與美國樂團「黑眼豆豆」(Black Eyes Peas)歌手Taboo一起在音樂錄影帶中露臉,更在2019年遠赴澳洲雪梨歌劇院演出。「原民大業」的成員,都是來自北美的頂尖舞者;儘管年輕,卻多半從小就藉由參與北美原住民集會「帕瓦」(Powwow)的過程中,練就一身表演傳統舞蹈的好本領。「原民大業」的舞蹈風格多樣:有穿著羽毛撐裙所展演的運動風「幻舞」(Fancy Dance),有女性配戴金屬錐管所跳的「叮噹舞」(Jingle Dance),還有據說是源自春天北美松雞求偶動作的「松雞舞」(Prairie Chicken Dance)。而在舞團成員的眼中,這些舞蹈大都具備了療癒的效果。



Photo credit: Tomás Karmelo Amaya for The New York Times