Dancing Night Hawk is Doctor Christopher Kaufman’s epic tale inspired by Native American Mythology. It tells the story of young Dancing Night Hawk, who must save the Ne’ne’me’kay’aa, the Thunderbirds who protect her village, from the Ma’ha’kuk, the evil Dragon Lords who hold the Ne’ne’me’kay’aa captive. The story is told through Music, Dance, Illustrative Art, Acting, Puppetry, Narration and Theatrical Production.
“I think of Dancing Night Hawk as a ‘cinematic ballet’ and look forward to expanding the project and collaborating with theatrical troupes and dance companies – to adapt and grow the project to fit your ensemble and vision!’
Press the picture above to see a film of the world premiere performance held at The Mark O’Donnell Theater on Doctor Kaufman’s outlet series, The Phantastic Theater – 12/10/2018.
You will see puppets and illustrative art (which acts as scenery and contains interactive characters). Puppets and interactive characters can be replaced with actors, dancers and/or large puppets (like Ya’kwa’hey or The Dragon King). The performance tape can be doctored. Kaufman will work with you to help craft a perfect version of Dancing Night Hawk for your troupe. You may refer to the book version (press cover) if you wish.
The work begins with Dancing Night Hawk dancing in the moonlight. This first dance/scene it titled “I Hear Their Voices”. In the film you will hear Sofia’s voice speak the poem as she dances.
She awakes from sleep with a feeling of danger. She rushes to Sacred Hill and hears from her grandfather, Tree Who Hugs The Clouds (played by Doctor Kaufman via a large puppet), that the Ne’ne’me’key’aa, the thunderbirds who’ve guarded her village for generations, have been captured by the evil Ma’ha’kuk Demon Lords. Tree tells Hawk a story about when he and Hawk’s grandmother, Eyes Of Fire (who passed a year ago) were young. They’d been captured by the Ma’ha’kuk and the Ne’ne’me’kay’aa had rescued them. Now it was time to return the favor and, in turn, save the village which the Demon Lords now threaten.
Thus begins the saga. Dancing Night Hawk, in whose blood her grandmother (who had been medicine woman of the village) flowed, journeys across the plains. She befriends Ya’kwa’hey, a giant magical bear, who flies her over the mountain to the Niagra Fortress where the Ma’ha’kuk have the Ne’ne’me’kay’aa caged.
Dancing Night Hawk engages in epic battle with the Dragon King and his minions. She draws on the power bequeather her by Eyes Of Fire. She defeats the Ma’ha’kuk and returns to Sacred Hill, where she is greeted by her grandfather. The last scene depicts Dancing Night Hawk receiving the mantle of Medicine Woman of the village.
Christopher (Doctor) Kaufman is an accomplished composer of music for the concert stage, film and the theatrical stage. Since 2016 he has been developing works he calls ‘classical music plays’ – The Musical Forest (a ‘music teacher’ for younger audiences), The Phantastic Zoo, Dancing Night Hawk (a cinematic ballet inspired by Native American Myth), The Talisman of Ahau-Kin (a halloween parable film), and his epic fantasy series, Tales of the Ocean City – for which he has yet to create a theatrical version.
“I think of these works as “Classical Music Plays’. The Music is intrinsic. One friend, an Emmy award winning composer who worked with Jim Henson, termed them “Peter and the Wolf on Steroids!”. As they progressed, I conceived the music, story and production all at once. These works are for all ages all at once. They leave no one behind…”
:HERE: for his general site page.
:HERE: for his resumé.
:HERE: to visit his YouTube channel SOUNDARTUS -press The Phantastic Theater playlist.