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Throat-Singers Lydia Etok and Nina Segalowitz

What a beautiful day on the North Shore. The sun is shining and seagulls are squawking! It feels like the weather is taking a turn for the better and with our Inuit Premiere festival weekend so near everyone at the gallery is in a great mood. The Inuit Premiere weekend is one of our busiest of the year, and certainly a change of pace from the winter. There is excitement in the air, it is easy to feel. We are cleaning the tables and windows, dusting the shelves, rearranging the gallery and eagerly anticipating the return of our two great friends, the notorious Kattajjak: Nunavik-style Throat-Singers Nina Segalowitz and Lydia Etok.

Fun in 2012: Jan, Neil, Nina, CJ, Abby & Lydia

If you have ever met these two ladies, you can easily understand why we are all so anxious for their arrival. Not only are they amazing storytellers, as well as possibly the most passionate performers I have ever witnessed, they are infamous for making you feel incredibly happy.  In fact, this morning, at our monthly employee meeting, just the mention of their names set us all into a fit of laughter. We recalled how fun it is to spend time with the two of them, Nina always making hilarious jokes or unbelievable stories, Lydia with the sweetest smile you can imagine. They arrive in Duluth on Thursday, and there is even talk that some of our employees are planning to caravan down to hang out with them for the evening, only to drive back in time for work the next day!!

Friday, March 15th at noon, the duo will be at Siiviis for a special throat singing performance, their first ever in Duluth.  They will then zippy their way up the shore, in time for an interview on our local radio station, WTIP around 5 pm. Their interview has become somewhat of an annual event, always entertaining, be sure to tune in for it! Then at 7 pm the gals will be attending our Friday evening event at Sivertson Gallery, the screening of the brilliant documentary “Kinngait: Riding Light into the World.”

WTIP Interview

On Saturday, March 16th Lydia and Nina will deliver two short performances throughout the day at our gallery here in Grand Marais, followed by a full interactive evening performance at 6pm that is not to be missed. Representing one of the purest and most fascinating traditions of Inuit culture, their movements and sound are mesmerizing. Two women adorned in their winter dress lock arms, manipulate air to produce exciting harmonies from their lungs and lips, rock back and forth and eventually end with an inevitable burst of laughter. Whoever is the first to laugh, and sometimes it is up to the audience to decide, loses the round. Keep in mind, this beautiful cultural duet is actually a contest for entertainment!

We hope you can join in on the fun this weekend up in Grand Marais. I’m sure you will be amazed at the level of energy and enthusiasm prevalent throughout the event.  Personally, I’m counting down the hours 😉


Framer Neil and Throat-Singer Nina with their interpretation of John Smith and Pocahontas, North Shore Style

Inuit Premiere Calendar or Events

Friday, March 15

12:00     Throat Singing demonstration at Siiviis, 361 Canal Park Dr., Duluth, MN  

5:00        Listen in to ‘The Roadhouse’ on WTIP 90.7FM to hear an interview with Throat Singers Nina and Lydia

7:00-8:00  Screening of “Kinngait:  Riding Light into the World” at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais

Saturday, March 16   (All Saturday events are at Sivertson Gallery, Grand Marais)

10:00       Gallery Opens

11:00        Throat Singing demonstration

2:00          Throat Singing demonstration

6:00          Fireside Chat / Throat Singing Demonstration

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