Circle of Dance

Exhibition Website

Circle of Dance presents Native dance as a vibrant, meaningful, and diverse form of cultural expression. Featuring ten social and ceremonial dances from throughout the Americas, the exhibition illuminates the significance of each dance and highlights the unique characteristics of its movements and music.

Music and dance have always been essential to the spiritual,cultural, and social lives of Native peoples. Unique forms of ritual, ceremonial, and social dancing remain a vital part of contemporary community life. Everywhere dance is found, it is accompanied by distinctive Native musical styles. Rich music and dance traditions create strong ties that bind American Indian communities to all living things, to the earth, spirit world, and—when people have deep ancestral claims to their dances—to the past.

Presenting a wide range of movement styles, Circle of Dance illustrates the dynamic dances through which Native peoples maintain old ways and introduce new ones, while expressing and celebrating their strongly felt tribal, village, clan, social, and individual identities. 

Circle of Dance interprets the traditions of social, ceremonial and spiritual dances. Each dance will be showcased by a single mannequin dressed in appropriate regalia and posed in a distinctive dance position. An accompanying media piece will complement and enhance the mannequin displays. Presenting the range of dances featured in the exhibition this high-definition video will capture the variety of the different Native dance movement vocabularies, and the music that is integral to their performance.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Image: Northern Traditional Dancer, Terry Fiddler (Cheyenne River Sioux), National Museum of the American Indian National Powwow, 2007. Photograph by Katherine Fogden (Mohawk).
  • Indigenous

Exhibition Venues & Dates