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Voices of Belief: Folklore & the Sacred Arts

Cunneen Hackett Arts Center
Poughkeepsie, New York
November 2–4, 2007


CONFERENCES & SYMPOSIA:    2007 New York Folklore Society Annual Conference

New York Field Trip 2007:  Voices of Belief-Folklore and the Sacred Arts, November 2-4, 2007, in Poughkeepsie, NY


Kantham Chatlapalli Kantham Chatlapalli
Kantham Chatlapalli is an Indian Classical Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer. She is a disciple of Natyacharya Sri Pasumarthi Seetharamayya. She started learning Indian Classical dance (Kuchipudi and Bharatha Natyam) at very young age. She has participated in numerous dance programs and competitions, in India, the US, and Ethiopia, and has won many awards. In 1983, she has started promoting this art form by training both girls and boys in Kuchipudi dance style. Since then she has trained many Indian and foreign students in India, Ethiopia, and the U.S. in Indian Classical dance and organized their performances to promote the rich cultural ancestry and support the local community needs and activities. In summer 2004, she was honored in India with the title of Natya Kalanidi (Treasure of Dance), and in 2006, she was nominated for the prestigious NEA National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of her lifelong contributions to Indian Dance in the United States.

Kontiwennenhá:wi: Carriers of the Words
This group of women from the Mohawk Nation perform songs in the Mohawk language, believing that if the Mohawk language dies, so will the Mohawk as a Nation of people. Through their songs they honor our Mother the Earth, our Grandmother the Moon, Our Grandparents from every generation, the teachers in schools who teach the language, the Great Law of Peace for our life’s foundation, and more.

La Troupe Makandal
In 1973, a group of young musicians and dancers from Port-au-Prince founded La Troupe Makandal and named the fledgling company after a remarkable Haitian Revolutionary. The company emigrated to New York in 1981. Led by Master Drummer Frisner Augustin, La Troupe channels the power of traditional Afro-Haitian music and dance to represent Haiti’s history and culture. Most of the company’s repertoire derives from the rites of Vodou, and the Troupe uses their performances to educate, entertain, and heal racial and cultural divisions.
La Troupe Makandal

The Jewish Singing Table by Sruli Dresdner and Lisa Mayer, with special guest Michael Alpert
Sruli Dresdner and Lisa Mayer are multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who perform and teach Klezmer and Hasidic music and dance. Their newest project “The Jewish Singing Table,” is a musical celebration of the Hasidic “Tish,” a Sabbath tradition of song and prayer.

The hot Latin sounds of Soñando have earned them the reputation as the Hudson Valley’s premier Latin band. This spicy blend of music and musicians have performed in clubs, at private functions, community festivals, benefit concerts, on radio and television, as well as the Puerto Rico Day Parade in NYC, but the band is at home wherever a dance floor can be cleared. Fueled by a fiery rhythm section and high-octane horns, Soñando plays a wide variety of Latin styles from Plena and Son to Salsa and Merengue.

Robert Farris Thompson, Ph.D.
Robert Farris Thompson, Ph.D. is the Colonel John Trumbull Professor of History of Art, Professor of African American Studies, and Master of Timothy Dwight College, Yale University. A member of the Yale faculty since 1965, he has taught and written extensively on the visual traditions of Weset and Central Africa, and on Black Art in the Americas.

The New York Folklore Society and its programs are funded by the
New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts

Council on the Arts         NEA-logo-color200
Additional funding for this conference provided by the Theatre Development Fund and
the New York Council for the Humanities.

NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY ♦ 129 Jay Street ♦ Schenectady, NY 12305 ♦ 518.346.7008 ♦ Fax 518.346.6617 ♦ nyfs@nyfolklore.org