Thunderbird American Indian Dancers holds its 31st annual Dance Concert and Pow Wow at Theater for the New City. The troupe's appearances benefit college funds for needy Native American students. Its Pow-Wows have been presented annually as a two-week event by TNC since 1976, with the entire box-office donated to these funds.
The event features dances, stories and traditional music from the Iroquois and Native Peoples of the Northwest Coast, the Southwest, the Plains, and the Arctic regions. Highlights of this year's celebration include a Hoop Dance performed by Raymond Two Feathers (Cherokee) and "Dancing Wolf" Michael Taylor (Choctaw/French). For the fourth time, the Pow Wow includes a dance from the Inuit people of Alaska, called The Caribou Dance. Other highlights include a Butterfly Dance (a Hopi custom which gives thanks for the beauty of nature), a Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Fancy Dance and a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes). Featured performers include Joe Cross, a storyteller from the Caddo Tribe (Oklahome), the Heyna Second Son Singers (various tribes) and Mitoka Eagle (Santo Domingo/Pueblo).
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. Pageantry is an important component of the event, and all participants are elaborately dressed. Most dances are performed in the traditional Circle, which represents a unity of peoples. There is a wealth of cultural information encoded in the movements of each dance. More than ten distinct tribes will be represented in the performers appearing. In the final section of the program, the audience is invited to join in the Round Dance, a friendship dance. Throughout the performances, all elements are explained in depth through detailed introductions by the troupe's Director and Emcee Louis Mofsie (Hopi/Winnebago). A retired educator, Mofsie plays an important part in the show by his ability to present a comprehensive view of native culture. The TNC lobby becomes a gallery for Indian crafts, bathed in the cooking aromas of Native American foods: corn soup, venison, fry bread and wild rice.
Appropriate For Ages: 13 and up
Visit the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers Annual Dance Concert & Pow-Wow website: