A Tribe Called Red’s hoop dancer shines

Rhonda Doxtator electrifies the crowd at The Opera House during A Tribe Called Reds sold out performance. (Adrian Brijbassi/Vacay.ca)

Rhonda Doxtator electrifies the crowd at the Opera House during A Tribe Called Red’s sold-out performance on National Aboriginal Day. (Adrian Brijbassi/Vacay.ca)

Photo by Adrian Brijbassi
Vacay.ca Managing Editor

TORONTO, ONTARIO — Fans show up to listen to A Tribe Called Red’s outstanding dance and dub-step music. They no doubt leave enchanted with Rhonda Doxtator, the mesmerizing hoop dancer whose moves complement the DJ trio’s artistic statement. A Tribe Called Red integrates aboriginal music with contemporary house and electronic beats. No other act in the world is like them, and that singularity makes A Tribe Called Red show as fascinating as it is entertaining. Add in Doxtator, with her rhythmic hopping and twirling, and seeing this DJ crew really is an eye-opening experience.

“We are about letting people know that aboriginal music is as contemporary as any other form of music. This is who we are, it’s what the people of our generation relate to,” says Bear Witness, a member of the Ottawa-based group.

A Tribe Called Red has been on a roll lately, touring Canada and the United States, where they became the first electronic act to play at the New Orleans Jazz Fest.

On Friday night, they marked National Aboriginal Day with a wicked performance at the Opera House, a Toronto venue known for hosting subversive acts. They packed the floor and the balcony, keeping the crowd on its feet throughout the set. Doxtator came on intermittently to perform in traditional attire, entwining herself in hoops as she might at a pow wow. This photograph was shot with a Nikon D7000, known for its ability to capture quality images in low-light settings. The 85mm fixed lens is particularly sharp, ideal for portraits and situations with compromised lighting. The camera was set at ISO 6400, f4.5, and 1/1000th of a second. There was minimum editing in Photoshop to restore colour balance.

Watch for the Rock n’ Roll Road Trips video instalment featuring the three members of A Tribe Called Red — Bear Witness, DJ Shub and Dee Jay NDN — in coming weeks on Vacay.ca.


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Adrian is the editor of Vacay.ca and VacayNetwork.com. He also edited "Inspired Cooking", a nutrition-focused cookbook featuring 20 of Canada's leading chefs and in support of the cancer-fighting charity, InspireHealth. "Inspired Cooking" was created in honour of Adrian's late wife and Vacay.ca co-founder, Julia Pelish, who passed away of brain cancer in 2016. Adrian has won numerous awards for his travel writing, travel photography, and fiction, and has visited more than 55 countries. He is a former editor at the Toronto Star and New York Newsday, and was the social media and advocacy manager for Destination Canada. His articles have frequently appeared in the Huffington Post, Globe & Mail, and other major publications. He has appeared on national and local broadcasts, talking about travel, sports, creative writing and journalism. In 2019, he launched Trippzy, a travel-trivia app developed to educate consumers about destinations around the world.

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