DanceForce Member: Paz Tanjuaquio
Artists: Louis Mofsie, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers
Community Partners: Queensboro Dance Festival; Woodside on the Move
Topaz Arts proposes to present “Thunderbird Dances” during FY2022, featuring Louis Mofsie and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. The event will be a free outdoor performance for the public at Windmuller Park in Woodside, Queens, NY. Recently experiencing their powerful performance at the Queens Farm last Fall 2020, Topaz Arts would like to propose a community-wide presentation with partnerships with local Woodside and Queens organizations. The outdoor event will follow safety protocols and social distancing, and will provide live streaming for online viewing.
About the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers: Founded in 1963 by a group of ten Native American men and women, all New Yorkers, who were descended from Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago and San Blas tribes, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers is the oldest resident Native American dance company in New York. Since its formation, Louis Mofsie and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers have visited and performed in almost all fifty states, where they have learned from a wide variety of Indian peoples. The Thunderbirds pledged to help preserve and perpetuate the culture and traditions of the American Indian people through their songs and dances, and their ceremonies wherever possible, and to bring before the general public a more realistic picture and greater understanding of the American Indian people through dance performances, lectures, pow wows and workshops.
Louis Mofsie, Director and original member of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, is from the Hopi and Winnebago tribes. He is a founding member of the American Indian Community House and served as the Chairman of the board for over 15 years. Louis has received many awards for his leadership and work. Most recently, 2019 Bessies Award for his contribution to the world of dance, 2018 a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Guild, and was the Grand Marshall of the 2019 Dance Parade in NYC.