In Dance Groups, Living Legends, Tour

Even with ferry schedule changes due to mechanical problems, the group has made it to every performance, assembly, outreach, and fireside, allowing the message and spirit to reach thousands of people, including government officials and many Native Canadians and Alaskans.

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Living Legends visit the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau

The third week of Living Legends tour brought new challenges, success, and adventure as Living Legends traveled the beautiful inside passage of Alaska.

Following church in a beautiful rustic log cabin chapel in Ketchikan, the group enjoyed Sunday dinner with ward members and provided a fireside that evening before returning to a fishing lodge which was to be their home for their four day stay in this resort town.

Monday brought a unique experience for the group to travel by ferry to Metlakatla, a small native village on a nearby, Annette Island, for a performance for the K-12 school children. When word spread, the entire community was invited and the gym was filled to capacity with both young and old Native Alaskans from the Tsimshian Tribe. As the entire village watched in awe as colorful, energetic Living Legends members (with heart pounding rhythms and exquisite collaborate costumes) brought to life a cultural, moving presentation of their rich heritage never before seen on this tiny island. Opportunity for two of the Living Legends Native Americans to speak to the youth about education and goals and dreams proved to be a powerful moment as their students responded with respect and great interest. A local youth drum group honored the Living Legends with songs as they left the school and met them again on the dock for a final farewell as the ferry pulled away.

As the group prepared for their Tuesday night performance in Ketchikan, they received startling news that due to mechanical problems with several ferries in the system, schedules had to be changed and the ferry to Juneau, scheduled to depart at midnight following the performance had been moved to an earlier departure. Not wanting to disappoint the audience in Ketchikan by canceling the performance, prayers were offered, plans were made, and miracles happened.

The enthusiastic response of the sold-out performance that night made it evident that all of the group’s efforts were well worthwhile.

Somehow the flight from Ketchikan to Juneau the next day had 50 seats available. Living Legends quickly pulled 75 costumes and prop cases off the truck and sent the truck on the ferry with all of their technical equipment. It was a tender mercy that the theatre in Ketchikan had enough equipment to do the show without the technical equipment on the truck.

The enthusiastic response of the sold-out performance that night made it evident that all of the group’s efforts were well worthwhile.

Just when it looked like everything was in order to meet up with the truck again in time for their performance in Juneau, the group received word that the ferry had broken down at sea and there was no guarantee it would arrive in Juneau with the truck in time for the show. Again prayers were offered with great faith and the ferry arrived with just hours to spare before the show.

Following a beautiful show in Juneau and a short night with host families, the group met at 5 AM to begin a 5 hour ferry ride and a long bus ride through British Columbia and the Yukon, crossed the border back into Alaska and overnighted in Tok. Along the way whales, seals, porpoises, moose, elk, and bears were sighted.

The week ended with another sold out performance in Fairbanks and a moving fireside that filled the stake center. The Living Legends performance which shares a powerful message as well as magnificent cultural dances and costumes has been felt by the performers and audience a like throughout Canada and Alaska. Even with ferry schedule changes due to mechanical problems, the group has made it to every performance, assembly, outreach, and fireside, allowing the message and spirit to reach thousands of people, including government officials and many Native Canadians and Alaskans.

On to Anchorage for the final leg of our journey.

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