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Kevin Locke / Tokeya Inajin  

dancer, musician, U.S.A.

Kevin Locke / Tokeya Inajin, 2003.

What I do with the hoop dance is try to communicate to people at all levels. Basically the hoop dance is an art form, one of the traditional American Indian dances. The main thing people should realize is that the use of dance is quite different when it´s used currently in Euro-American society here in North America. It´s quite different when it´s used by American Indian people, because they use dance not just for recreation and socializing, but also to express some deep spiritual feelings... dancing you use motion and music and all these different patterns in order to create andto fulfill innate human desire to create beauty, balance, order, symmetry, perfection and spirituality. You do it through movement, you do it through music. And that´s of course what dance is, it´s a kinectic art. American Indian people see and use the power and efficacy of dance to communicate the ascendant aspects of human nature.

So it becomes a great vehicle in which to really express some basic spiritual concepts. So the hoop dance fits within that context; it´s one of many dances in which the basic pattern of life is the hoop of life...

Excerpts of an interview in Arts Dialogue, September 1994, pages 9 -10.

Kevin Locke, a Lakota (Sioux) dancer, performing at the Spring Gulch Folk Festival, New Holland, PA, U.S.A., May 1994.

     Kevin Locke, a Lakota (Sioux) dancer,
performing at the Spring Gulch Folk Festival,
New Holland, PA, U.S.A., May 1994.

Kevin Locke (Tokeya Inajin is his Lakota name, meaning "The First to Arise") is known throughout the world as a visionary Hoop Dancer, the pre-eminent player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, a traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator. He became a Bahá´í in 1983 after some Bahá´ís from the indigenous nations of South America visited Standing Rock Reservation, his home in South Dakota.

It was from his mother, Patricia Locke, also a Bahá´í (1991 MacArthur Foundation Grant winner), his uncle Abraham End-of-Horn, mentor Joe Rock Boy, and many other elders and relatives that Kevin received training in the values,
The Kevin Locke Trio, 2003.

traditions and language of his native culture for which he works tirelessly.
He performs over a 100 times per year performing arts centers, festivals, schools, universities, conferences, state and national parks, monuments and historic sites, powwows and reservations. He is a dance and musical hero and role model for youth and most of his performances are for children.

Kevin Locke is acknowledged to be the pivotal force in the now powerful revival of the indigenous flute tradition which teetered on the brink of extinction just twenty years ago. In 1990, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which recognized him as a "Master Traditional Artist who has contributed to the shaping of our artistic traditions and to preserving the cultural diversity of the United States."

He is often characterized as being oriented from a tribal-specific background, but his work draws from the universality of the human spirit and its inclination toward harmony, balance, beauty, peace, and the sacred through movement and dance, sound and music. It is universal spirit that Kevin strives to convey through his stories, music, humor, dances and workshops. Kevin's goal is "to raise awareness of the oneness we share as human beings." His belief in the unity of humankind is expressed dramatically in the traditional Hoop Dance which illustrates "the roles and responsibilities that all human beings have within the hoops (or circles) of life."

Touring for two decades, Kevin has performed and lectured in more nearly 80 countries, sharing his high vision of balance, joy and diversity. He has served as a cultural ambassador for the United States Information Service since 1980. Deeply committed to the conservation of Earth's resources for future generations, Kevin was a delegate to the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil and a featured performer and speaker at the 1996 United Nations Habitat II Conference in Turkey. "All of the people have the same impulses, spirit and goals," reflects Kevin. "Through my music and dance, I want to create a positive awareness of the Oneness of humanity."

Since 1982, Kevin has recorded twelve albums of music and stories, most recently The First Flute, Open Circle, Keepers of the Dream, and the Dream Catcher.


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