800 Sixth Street North
Wahpeton, North Dakota 58076-0002

A high-energy jig and square dance group, Asham Stompers, will be giving a free performance in Wahpeton Dec. 7.

The Red River Dance world champions, based in Winnipeg, help capture and preserve the history of the Métis — pronounced May-tee, meaning mixed blood — through the traditional dancing of the Red River Jig, combined with traditional square dancing, called the Red River Dance.

The group formed in 2002 and have performed at the 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia, many festivals and half-time shows as well as the World Curling Championships in Grand Forks, N.D.

The dance troupe is led by Cathy Genaille and Arnold Asham. The dancers perform to live music by well-known Manitoba fiddler Shawn Mousseau. The Wahpeton performance will also include Canada’s “Got Talent” winners Sagkeeng’s Finest.

Lise Erdrich, Circle of Nations School, said the Red River Jig borrows from native traditions and from fur trade influences along the Red River.

“The Métis were known as the fur-trade workforce, the cart drivers, and would stop here in the Wahp-Breck area and haul trade goods in carts to St. Paul. They were the only way to transport before the railroads came,” she said. “They were known for their fiddle music and their dances. The native tribes here were fascinated with their dance.”

The Asham Stompers will perform at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 at the Harry and Ella Stern Cultural Center at NDSCS. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, call 1-800-267-5730.

Official Website: http://www.ashamstompers.com/index.php/schedule/

Added by canadamnpls on November 26, 2012

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