Thun­der­bird Amer­i­can Indi­an Dancers to per­form Yah-Oh-Way’ in Philly

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The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will perform as part of Sundays on Stage. (Photo courtesy of the Free Library.)
The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will perform as part of Sundays on Stage. (Photo courtesy of the Free Library.)

The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will perform at the Parkway Central Library’s Montgomery Auditorium as part of the Sundays on Stage series. Sundays on Stage offers cultural programs for all ages that celebrate diversity through music, dance, storytelling, and more. This series is made possible by funding from the Philadelphia City Institute Board of Managers.

Founded in 1963, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers are the oldest resident Native American dance company in New York. The troupe will perform Yah-Oh-Way, which means “it is good” in Hopi. This performance incorporates traditional dances and songs to highlight the depth and complexity of Indigenous cultures and experiences. Yah-Oh-Way will include informative explanations of the origins and meanings of elements of the performance.

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers aims to keep alive Indigenous traditions, songs, and dances. The company was established by men and women with parents born on reservations, descended from the Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago, and San Blas tribes. The company’s repertoire includes the Robin Dance and the Fish Dance (Iroquois), the Hopi Buffalo Dance, and newer dances such as the Jingle Dress Dance.

Company members are volunteers who work as teachers, tree surgeons, and computer engineers when they are not performing. For 44 years, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers have held an annual concert and powwow in New York City to honor the cultures of the first Americans while raising money for college scholarships for Native American students.

Admission to Yah-Oh-Way is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Montgomery Auditorium, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street. All are welcome. The performance is on Sunday, August 18, 2019; doors open at 1:30pm, and the performance will begin at 2:00pm. For more information, visit online or call 215-686-5322.

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