Chicken Dance Extravaganza

Having been to Canada a couple of times to do mountain bike stuff with the help of the tourist boards over there, I’ve ended up on the mailing list of the Alberta Tourist Board.

Usually I get press releases about new trails opening at one of the many bike parks and I even get mailings through the winter about the ski resorts and the like, so it’s not all restricted to biking. It’s a tourist board list.. their remit is naturally much broader than that. Consequently most of the PR I get isn’t that relevant. Today I received this one in my inbox that just seemed so way off topic that I felt the need to share it with you :-)

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Blackfoot Crossing Alberta-Canada hosts World Chicken Dance Championship – June 20-21

 Owl dance, team dance, round dance, old style chicken dance, rabbit dance, snake dance and crowhop dance are just some of the indigenous performances lined up for the second annual World Chicken Dance Championship from June 20-21.

 

Hosted by the Siksika Nation at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park in Alberta, Canada, the World Chicken Dance Championship brings together indigenous communities from all around the world to celebrate their native and ritual dance with spiritual performances to the beat of a drum. 

All indigenous dancers perform in full authentic costume, and each dance tells a story of their history and spiritual beliefs.  The crowhop dance shows the arrival of the Europeans, the horse and the gun.  One of the most famous performances is the old style chicken dance, this is an original dance to the people of Blackfoot, with dancers imitating the movement of a chicken.  This dance is performed by men only, and the outfit worn includes a single bustle, and the head gear is a porcupine roach with two feathers attached symbolising a chickens comb. 

Hundreds of spectators turned out for the first World Chicken Dance Championship at Blackfoot Crossing in Alberta’s South last year, and greater numbers are expected for 2009, where five categories of dance will take place.  Categories include seniors 45+, juniors (7-12yrs), teens (13-17 years and tiny tots (6-under), the tiny tots are not judged they only dance, while other categories dance one at a time, with judges using a Olympic style scoring system, where competitors see their score right away. 

Blackfoot Crossing is home to one of the largest indigenous communities in all of Canada.  Guests to the area can complete their indigenous experience with a visit to the interpretive centre, and an overnight stay in a tipi at the Blackfoot Crossing tipi village. 

Alberta, Canada is renowned worldwide for its western style experiences and events.  The province is also famous for hosting the richest outdoor rodeo in the world being Calgary Stampede from 3-12 July, two weeks after the World Chicken Dance Championship on June 20-21. 

For further details on the World Chicken Dance Championship see www.blackfootcrossing.ca for general information on travelling to Alberta, Canada see www.travelalberta.com

For more information or to organise a media visit to Alberta contact: 

Tanya Hillman or Kylie Whitfield at the Travel Alberta Press Office – Tel – 01825 76 36 36 or email tanya.hillman@kbc-pr.com/kylie.whitfield@kbc-pr.com.

 

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Well, I was just about to confirm my flights when I realised it clashes with Mountain Mayhem. Gutted!