Hoop dancing at Toronto International Airport

Toronto - hoop dancing

Toronto bound?  If you’re lucky you’ll get to see two-time World Champion hoop dancer Lisa Odjig, who will be performing Aboriginal hoop dancing at Toronto Pearson International Airport several times this month.

The hoop dance, which originated in New Mexico and gained widespread popularity across North America at powwows and festivals, is a traditional Aboriginal dance symbolic of the circle of life. A hoop dancer must exercise precision, showmanship, timing, rhythm, creativity and speed as he or she weaves her body in and out of the hoops in time with the fast beat of the drum, all the while creating depictions of animals, birds and the earth.

The performances are part of Planet IndigenUs, a multi-disciplinary arts festival taking place in Toronto that features the work of Canadian Aboriginal artists.  Ms. Odjig will be performing in Terminal 1 on:

Thursday, August 13, in the International Arrivals hall, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Monday, August 17, in the, the International Arrivals hall from 4 – 5 p.m.
Thursday August 20, in the International Arrivals hall, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Toronto Curtain of Beavers

An exhibition by Frank Shebageget, Curtain of Beavers, made from 238 models of the deHavilland Beaver float plane, is across from Gate 120 in the domestic departures area of Terminal 1.  This is also part of airport’s partnership with Planet IndigenUs.

The Beaver was put into production in 1947, and is still one of Canada’s most successful and long-lived designs.  The installation consists of suspended airplanes, which take the shape of a curtain. The curtain spans west to east, symbolizing their exploration into the Canadian north. Curtain of Beavers reveals the subtle relationship between Native communities and the deHavillandBeaver float plane. While the Beaver is a highly recognizable piece of Canadiana, the planes were also a vital part of Native culture.

Toronto curtain of beavers close up

Curtain of Beavers will at Toronto Pearson International Airport through November, 2009.

(Photos courtesy Toronto International Airport)

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