Spirit - The Seventh Fire celebrates and honors the rich culture of this Nation's first people through Native American music, dance, regalia and song. Employing universal motifs and themes, Spirit - The Seventh Fire's story is told through live concert, contemporary and traditional music, epic film including National Geographic Imax footage, spectacular Native dance and traditional heart-pumping Native drum group performances. The Omaha World-Herald has proclaimed Spirit " ... poignant, sad, uplifting, thrilling and powerful."
Spirit - The Seventh Fire tells the dramatic story of one man's journey to find a balance between the culture in which he exists, driven by the "American Dream," and his roots, rich in heritage, tradition and connected to the natural world. It is a journey of self-discovery that renews within him the mystery, beauty and spirit of his ancestors and brings him to a magical place where his past meets his present.
The story begins by surrounding the audience in a pre-contact world. It is early dawn and a village of teepees appear with fires flickering inside. The sound of crickets and other early morning noises encircle the audience. Pow-wow singers begin off in the distance.
Suddenly, the Urban Overture begins. A film tells the story of a century of "progress". From analog invention to digital consumerism, the audience is taken on a ride. It is a glimpse into the disconnection of our collective cultures from their respective roots.
As the MAN becomes increasingly agitated and the projections become ever more frenetic, he pulls a file folder from his desk in a frantic search for an overdue report. Instead, he finds a white feather—an immediate reminder of everything he left behind—his homeland, his people, his heritage—his reason for being alive.
His journey begins as a personal search for meaning and becomes the journey of his people's search for redemption. He is not alone on this journey. He is both protected from and thrust into a world that requires him to ultimately find where his own strength lies.
He learns to confront his fears with the help of a WARRIOR PROTECTOR, his desires with support from his SPIRIT GUIDE and the difficult expectations of society with continual prodding from the TRICKSTER.
These same three forces are at work on the physical plane. The CHILD reminds him of the playful nature of things—helping to overcome societal expectations. The GRANDFATHER reminds him of the wisdom of his people and the folly of succumbing to immediate desires. And the WOMAN is his connection to the strength within himself—to remind him that he has the power to overcome any fear.
In the first half of the story, MAN is on his personal quest to strip down to the essence of his being. As he meets these guiding forces they help him return to his ancestors and stand face to face with the people who lived and died so that he could be born.
As he rejoices in the celebration of meeting his ancestors, he is immediately reminded that he is still human and that the vision he has been given comes with a responsibility. This is no longer his journey, it is his people's journey. He must go through the painful process of returning to his life, taking with him all that he has seen and experiencing what his ancestors have experienced. The temptation is there to simply return to his old life—but he chooses not to. Instead, he chooses to rise to the task of overcoming the fears, desires and norms of daily life to become the voice of his people.
In the final chapter—back in his suit—he is met by the GUIDES who have helped him along the way. The CHILD joins him as a fancy dancer, so the next generation will not forget where they came from or where they are going.
to download the showbill from our 2005 Philadelphia production.