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It then looks at how several important modern dance choreographers—including Ted Shawn, Martha Graham, and Lester Horton—developed their modern dance projects, and self-representations on stage, by way of a fascination with the very same American Indian dances and 23 24 I NTRODUCTION cultures that the federal government was seeking to contain. Finally, this section analyzes Martha Graham’s signature piece, Appalachian Spring—itself a sign of modern dance—for the ways it performs the subsequent absence of American Indians from modern dance history.

16 The policy of assigning agencies to church groups continued until 1881, when growing Catholic influence in Indian affairs made Protestant church leaders anxious, while Catholics grew dissatisfied with a system that still favored Protestant influence and so argued that the apportionment violated Indian religious freedom. But even these new, and still rare, calls for religious freedom remained mired in the rhetoric of compulsory Christianity, as the following Catholic statement demonstrates: The Indians have a right, under the Constitution, as much as any other person in the Republic, to the full enjoyment of liberty of conscience; accordingly they have the right to choose whatever Christian belief they wish, without interference from the gov- HAVE TH EY A RIG HT?

Less than a decade later, however, the tenor and rhetoric of official federal restrictions on Indian dances shifted. 24 Instead, these 1904 regulations focus on the Sun Dance—which was widely described as “barbaric” at the time—and call into question the religious status of Indian dances and ceremonies. 25 In other words, the antidance rhetoric shifted from a primary concern about Indian dancing as prelude to warfare, with a focus on scalp and war dances, to a primary concern about Indian dancing as barbaric and immoral, with a focus on what officials called the Sun Dance.

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