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Essential dates for your dance card
BY SCOTT STIFFLER | THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS In 1963, a small group of like-minded Native American men and women from the Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago and San Blas tribes came together to form what would become the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. They were all “first generation” — meaning their parents had been born on reservations. Founded as a way to keep the songs, dances, music and traditions of their predecessors alive, their annual Dance Concert and Pow Wow at Theater for the New City has become a tradition of its own (this is their 37th year at TNC).
Nearly two dozen members from over ten tribes will be on hand — with storytelling by the Coatlique Theatre (from the Chichimec tribe), a Hoop Dance by Marie McKinney (Cherokee), a Caribou Dance (from the Inuit people of Alaska), a Buffalo Dance (from the Hopi people), a Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Stomp Dance (from the Southeastern tribes) and a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes). The audience is invited to join in the Round Dance (a friendship dance) at the end of the program. The origin, meaning and significance of each performance will be explained through introductions by Thunderbird Dancers director and emcee, Louis Mofsie (Hopi/Winnebago). The matinees, which are shorter in length (90 minutes), have been designed for younger audiences. After the performance, the cast will be available to meet, greet and have their photos taken.
Fri., Jan. 27 through Sun. Feb. 5. Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 3pm & 8pm; Sun. at 3pm. $10 general admission to all evening shows (running time, 2 hours). At matinees, children under 12 accompanied by a ticket-bearing adult are admitted for $1. Native American craft items will be displayed in the TNC lobby. All box office proceeds go to the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers Scholarship Fund. For tickets and info, call 212-254-1109 or visit theaterforthenewcity.net. Access blog entries and video clips at thunderbirdamericanindiandancers.wordpress.com.
CAMILLE A. BROWN & DANCERS Queens native Camille A. Brown brings her troupe back to The Joyce for the first time since 2010. Blending modern dance techniques with elements of West African dance and hip-hop, the program by Camille A. Brown & Dancers (three performances only) will include “Been There, Done That.” Commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow in 2010, the character-driven piece eavesdrops on the lives of a dancing duo fro the 1950s. Set to the music of Ray Charles and Brandon McCune, 2007’s “The Groove to Nobody’s Business” imagines the meeting of two strangers (guest artists Christopher Huggins and Matthew Rushing) on the subway. “The Evolution of a Secured Feminine” (from 2007) features Brown in a performance whose taunt gestures and fast footwork celebrate the “limitless gift of being a woman.” Also scheduled are excerpts from “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” (a work in development) and a new solo performed by Carmen de Lavallade.
Fri., Jan. 27 at 8pm; Sat., Jan. 28 at 2pm; Sun., Jan. 29 at 7:30pm. At The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St.). Tickets are $10-$39; call 212-242-0800, in purchase at the Box Office (Mon.-Fri., 12-6pm), or at Joyce.org. Visit camilleabrown.org.
DAVID DORFMAN DANCE: PROPHETS OF FUNK Since its founding in 1985, David Dorfman Dance’s community projects have been presented over 30 times in 18 states and two foreign countries. “Out of Season” and “Familiar Movements” invite athletes and family members to rehearse and perform with the company. “No Roles Barred” challenges groups ranging from corporate executives and “at-risk” youths to college administrators, doctors and carpenters to contemplate identity and social constructs. This performance at The Joyce (their first since 2005) continues the company’s long tradition of asking big questions while shaking their groove things. Set to the music of kindred spirits Sly and The Family Stone, “Prophets of Funk” has its cast of eight exploring the power of dance to help everyday people draw strength from (and find joy in) the muck and the mess — the “funk” — of everyday life.
Wed., Jan. 25 at 7:30pm; Thurs., Jan. 26 and Sat., Jan. 28 at 8pm; Sun., Jan. 29 at 2pm. At The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St.). For tickets ($10-$39), call 212-242-0800, purchase at the Box Office (Mon.-Fri., 12-6pm), or visit Joyce.org. Also visit daviddorfmandance.org.