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September 25, 1992 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Grandkids
dance on
by Carina A. Bacon
Unable to pronounce his great-
grandfather's name, the military
changed it to "Otto." But the name
that this extended family, led by
grandfather Don Otto, uses when
they do their Native American
dancing, is that still unpronounce-
able "Kenewegoshik."
The Kenewegoshik Dancers,
all Native Americans of Chippewa
and Ottawa descent, are comprised
of three generations of Ottos.
Their program consists of many
traditional dances: Buffalo, Corn
and Eagle, complemented by intri-
cate Native American regalia rep-
resentative of all tribes.
The dancers, mainly ages 7-12,
have been presenting their pro-
gram to schools in the area since
last fall. After the dancing, the
group displays beadwork and tra-
ditional costumes while a question
and answer session is held.
A native of Albion, MI, Don
Otto grew up attending pow-wows
with his family. Although he en-
joyed them, he no longer attends.
"Pow-wows are so expensive
now," he said. Otto stressed the
peed for tradition rather than com-
petitions that dominate pow-wows
of today. "Pow-wows now are for
show," he said. "I'm still into the
original dancing for prayer to god
and giving thanks for a hunt."
When asked what other Native
Americans might think about his
involvement in sharing his her-
itage with the schools, he admit-
ted, "They probably don't like it
too well. I don't charge; it's a do-
nation. It's something I want my
kids to learn and keep alive as
much as I can."
Although Otto is in charge of
the dance troupe, he doesn't dic-
tate to his grandkids where they
are going to perform. When a
prospective dance opportunity ari-
ses, Otto can't be expected to give
his concession immediately. "It
depends on my grandkids," he
laughed. "It's all up to them."
THE KENEWEGOSHIK DAN-
CERS perform Saturday at 2 p.m.
at the Leslie Science Center.
Admission is free. Call 662-7802.
for info.

The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 25, 1992- Page 9
Local operatic 'Bedfellows'

by Michelle Weger
The rainy morning signals the
coming days of autumn, when young
radicals' thoughts are sunk in the
mire of presidential campaigns. This
radical, however, is on her way not
to discuss matters of public policy,
but to find out something about the
politics of opera and the opera of
politics.
Outside Rachelle Warren's house
on the south side of town, clouds
hover menacingly. Inside is the base
of Ann Arbor's own Papagena
Opera Company, the small profes-

sional company of singers Warren
founded in 1985. The living room
walls are adorned with images of
birds, and the local impresario
proudly shows me her original
bronze bust of the company's name-
sake, Mozart's "bird lady" from
"The Magic Flute." (In "Magic
Flute" Papageno is a bird catcher
who nearly commits suicide because
he feels his life has no meaning,
until he finds and falls in love with
Papagena.) "I thought, perfect
name," Warren says. "Everyone's
looking for their own Papagena."

This is significant not only be-
cause of the company's name, but
because of the circumstances of its
founding. A social researcher with a
Ph.D. in social psychology, Warren
was traveling through Europe in
1984, compiling .information about
the decline of the welfare state.
While in Italy, her car, containing all
of her data, videos, cassettes and re-
ports, was stolen. Believing her en-
tire trip to have been in vain, she
nevertheless continued on to Vienna
where she bought a ticket to "Die
See BEDFELLOWS, Page 10

The performers in "Strange Bedfellows" are Scott Jensen (top), Ruth
DeBoer (right), David Troiano (bottom) and Maria Cimarelli (right).
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