Photo Flash: THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS' DANCE CONCERT AND POW-WOW At TNC
Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, will present its 45th annual Thunderbird American Dancers Dance Concert and Pow Wow from January 24 to February 2, 2020.
There will be dances, stories and traditional music from Native Peoples of the Northeast, Southwest and Great Plains regions. The event, emceed by Bessie-winner Louis Mofsie (Hopi/Winnebago), has become a treasured New York tradition for celebrating our diversity by honoring the culture of our first Americans.
A Pow-Wow is more than just a spectator event: it is a joyous reunion for native peoples nationwide and an opportunity for the non-Indian community to voyage into the philosophy and beauty of Native culture. Traditionally a gathering and sharing of events, Pow-Wows have come to include spectacular dance competitions, exhibitions, and enjoyment of traditional foods.
Highlights will also include storytelling by Matoaka Eagle (Santo Domingo/Chickahominy), a Hoop Dance by Marie Ponce (Cherokee and Seminole) and Nat Cross (Kiowa) that will be set to flute music for the first time, a Deer Dance (from the Yaqui Tribes of Southern Arizona) with Ciaran Tufford (Mayan/Cherokee) and Carlos Ponce (Mayan), and various ensemble dances: a Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Stomp Dance (from the Southeastern tribes), a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes),a Fancy Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes) and a Robin Dance and Smoke Dance (from the Iroquois). As the audience enters the theater, they will be serenaded by the Heyna Second Son Singers (various tribes). In the final section of the program, the audience will be invited to join in the Round Dance/Friendship Dance (in evening shows) and a Contest Dance (in matinées). After the program, the dancers stay for photographs and to meet the audience.
Pageantry is an important component of the event, and all participants are elaborately dressed. There is a wealth of cultural information encoded in the movements of each dance. More than ten distinct tribes will be represented in the performance. The dozen-or-so dancers are people of all ages, raging from ten-year-old Isabel Cespedes (Mayan) to retirees.
Throughout the performance, all elements are explained in depth through detailed introductions by the troupe's Director and Emcee Louis Mofsie (Hopi/Winnebago). An educator, Mofsie plays an important part in the show by his ability to present a comprehensive view of native culture. Native American crafts, jewelry will be sold in the TNC lobby.
Tickets are also available at Brown Paper Tickets, https://thunderbirdamericandancers.brownpapertickets.com, 800-838-3006.
Photo Credit: James Rucinski.