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Theater group teaches history through dance

Kaha%3Awi+is+a+dance+theater+based+out+of+Toronto%2C+Canada%2C+using+visual+and+aural+learning+techniques+to+teach+about+the+effects+the+War+of+1812+had+on+the+Iroquois+people.
Kaha:wi is a dance theater based out of Toronto, Canada, using visual and aural learning techniques to teach about the effects the War of 1812 had on the Iroquois people.

Kaha:wi is a dance theater based out of Toronto, Canada, using visual and aural learning techniques to teach about the effects the War of 1812 had on the Iroquois people.

Kaha:wi is a dance theater based out of Toronto, Canada, using visual and aural learning techniques to teach about the effects the War of 1812 had on the Iroquois people.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER | Evergreen reporter

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WSU Performing Arts collaborated with UI Festival Dance to present a dance theatre that utilizes oral and visual learning styles to teach WSU students about historical events.

The Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, based out of Toronto, Canada, makes use of these learning styles to educate others about the impact that the War of 1812 had on the Iroquois people. Gail Siegel, the director of WSU Performing Arts, said she feels honored to host Kaha:wi.

“I’m excited for the artistic component,” Siegel said, “and I’m always interested in presenting stories from history that have impacted people.”

WSU Performing Arts generally presents musical or theatrical performances, so Siegel said she is most excited for the dance aspect of the upcoming performance.

“We don’t have the opportunity to present full-fledged dance performances very often because of all the complexities,” Siegel said. “We feel it’s very important to bring diverse arts to campus, and we usually focus on musical or theatrical performance, but it’s very important to also present dance.”

Kaha:wi combines many different aspects to produce a rush of different experiences the audience will witness, which is what makes the performance so enjoyable to watch, Siegel said.

“I think it’s stunningly visual,” she said. “There’s the movement of the dance, and it’s all supported by a multimedia presentation – there will be an almost interactive video going along with the performance and there will be sound overlay and music. It’s a multilevel sensory experience.”

Siegel believes this kind of performance is important to share on a college campus because it allows students to learn more about the world around them.

“I think it’s important for not only college students but for everybody to gain a broader world view,” Siegel said, “and to understand where we came from and learn from history so we can move forward in better ways.”

WSU Performing Arts and UI Festival Dance will present Kaha:wi at 7:30 p.m. on April 21 at Jones Theatre in Daggy Hall. Admission costs $22 for adults and seniors, $18 for non-WSU students, $16 for youths under 16, and is free for the first 100 WSU students.

“Part of our mission here at performing arts is to help raise cultural awareness and provide educational opportunities through the arts,” Siegel said. “We all learn in different ways so we can touch people in different ways through the arts and still create awareness and present history.”

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Theater group teaches history through dance