The Winona State University CLASP Lecture Series will present “The Lakota Heyoka Clown Tradition: A Backward Humor Provoking Action for Sustainability and Survival” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Memorial 300 Dance Studio.

The Heyoka serves as a clown and a trickster, intended to take people out of their comfort zones and provide a new and sometimes meaningful perspective. The presentation will use the “Heyoka” to assist audience members in seeing sustainability from a different point of view. Presenters Tex Hawkins, James Reidy and Gretchen Cohenour will utilize Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic Philosophy and the Lakota Way of Life to demonstrate different ways to navigate the river of sustainability and life.

Hawkins will share information about Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” and how this science/emotional-based traditional philosophy can provide inspiration for becoming a true sustainable community. Reidy will share quotes and songs of the Lakota Nation to show how art and metaphorical story-telling can lead to better understanding of our responsibilities and interrelationships with the earth and her natural resources. Gretchen Cohenour will choreograph the part played by the Dancing Heyoka during the presentation.

Hawkins is a retired wildlife biologist and interpretive naturalist, currently serving as Sustainability Advisor at WSU. He earned degrees at the University of Minnesota in wildlife biology and mass communications, and has conducted a six-month field study of white-winged dove distribution, habitat and exploitation across Central America, through Texas A&M University’s Kleberg Program in Wildlife Ecology.

Reidy has been a professor of Recreation, Tourism and Therapeutic Recreation at Winona State University since August 2000. Reidy specializes in the following areas in recreation: outdoor experiential education, leadership, design of green facilities and open space for nature-based tourism, and multicultural travel study programs. He continues to teach a course in the Sustainability Minor.

Cohenour is a somatic movement artist and serves as dance program director, choreographer, and professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Cohenour’s approach to choreography and teaching is interdisciplinary, grounded in German Expressionist dance traditions and informed by improvisation process, embodiment research, visual arts, Qigong, Laban, Alexander technique, and an eclectic range of movement imagery and ideas. She creates and supports rich interdisciplinary learning experiences through artistic collaborations and projects with students and colleagues at WSU and beyond.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Matthew Bosworth at mbosworth@winona.edu.

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