The annual concert series returns to the UP

CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich. (WLUC) – The eagle dance is one of many rituals that will be performed during the 7th Annual Beethoven and Banjos Concert Series, conducted by Evan Premo, originally from Iron County. The cross-genre event invites collaboration.

“The Aeolus Quartet will play music with Laurel Premo and with me, and we’ll make music on our own, and then collaborate with the dancers from the Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company. Then they will do some of their own dances, ”said Evan Premo, artistic director.

The dances performed are stories of Native American rituals. The dancers are extremely proud of their heritage, which includes wearing an eagle feather on the top of the head to honor the bird. For a storyteller, the spectacle is about breaking down barriers.

“I’ve been stereotyped for too long and it’s time to share my story with people to tell them I’m not that TV Indian, I’m not that fairytale Indian, but I’m here” said Ronnie Preston, a Native American storyteller.

A common misconception is to call their traditional outfits costumes, and Preston says that’s not correct.

“Today is not Halloween. Today I don’t dress to be Native, I am Native, ”Preston said.

The group wants the audience to leave after learning something new about Native American culture. The shows are Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. ET at Lower Harbor Park in Marquette, Saturday nights at 7 p.m. CT at the Crystal Theater, and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET at the Rozsa Center in Houghton. Masks will be compulsory for indoor performances.

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