THUNDERBIRD NATIVE THEATRE (TNT)

Dynamite Vocals, Big drums, Oral Narratives and Dance are the very soul of Native people. They ground us culturally and spiritually in the magic of who we are as North America's proud Indigenous people. TNT is a bigger show with more performers which translates to more fun and enjoyment. Everyone is welcome.

AVAILABLE FOR CORPORATE, BUSINESS, EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, FESTIVALS, CONFERENCES, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ORGANIZAITONS, CONVENTIONS

 

MAIN CAST

Shannon Thunderbird
Tsimshian
Artistic Director, Principal Performer, Singer, Actor, Drummer,  Dancer

Sandy Horne
Principal Performer, Singer, Actor, Drummer, Dancer & Thunderbird's Performance Partner of 14 years

Kate Dickson
Tsimshian
Narrator, Singer, Actor, Drummer

Pamela Carter
Tsimshian
Drummer, Singer, Actor

Christine Pohlkamp
Drummer, Actor


TNT'S MANDATE

"You can cage the singer, but not the song....Songs reach deep into the moment of our deepest anguish to lift our spirits."
(Harry Belafonte, Singer, Civil Rights Activist)

First Nations stories, teachings, music and rhythm can bridge the cultural divide in a way that allows for the culture and magic of all Turtle Island’s people to be celebrated and understood in a positive, uplifting and often hilarious way.

We use as many artistic mediums as possible, while staying true to cultural integrity.  Our stories are TRUTH, HONOUR, RESPECT, HOPE, WISDOM, JOY, CARING, COURAGE, LOVE, HUMOUR....AND...RECONNECTIONS to the vital rhythms and currents of global people.

Our stories are universal, and we invite you to Listen, Understand, Engage, Feel and Care about Yourself, Family, Friends, Community, Nation and, most importantly, Mother Earth.

 


SHOW: "ROLLING THUNDER" - LIVE LARGE...LAUGH LOUD!

Rolling Thunder brings to life the rich and vibrant cultures of  North America's First Nations people. Using the dynamics of live theatre, songs, big drums and storytelling. Rolling Thunder has the audience laughing from beginning to end.

We move with the rhythm of the ages and unite the past, present and future in highly entertaining and often hilarious ways.


Watch 2 minute video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBILVPnfK_s

 



Depending on length (60-90 minutes), Rolling Thunder includes:

  1. Performance Stories and Oral Narratives with traditional & contemporary music,  vocals, dance, drums.

  2. Singers, Dancers (Fancy Shawl, Jingle Dress, Women and Men's Traditional).

  3. Gyemk ~Loop and K'ool Gyet Nah Hool Big Drums, including audience participation on the big drums.

  4. Hand drums, Shakers.

  5. Acoustic  and Bass Guitars, Flute,

  6. Stories: Wolf, Raven, Orca, Crow Chief, Grandmother Cries, Wisdom of the Elders, Dream World, Apache Tears, among others.

  7. Audience members model traditional First Nations and French Voyageur clothing.

Enthusiastic audience Interaction is a big part of Rolling Thunder.  Content adjusted to the requirements of the event.

 

 

GYEMK ~LOOP (MOONSTONE) WOMEN'S BIG DRUM &

~Gyemk Loop Women's Big Drum and K'ool Gyet Na'hool Family Drum have performed at Powwows that include:  Georgiana Island, Bala Community School, and Grand Valley Women's Correctional Institute.  Our songs/vocals blend seamlessly with other big drums at these events.  We have "great pipes" and sing in Sm'algyax, Lakota, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunne, Cherokee, among other Native languages.

CEREMONIES AND OTHER EVENTS

We also perform opening/closing ceremonies for national and international conferences, educational, festivals, conventions, public and private events.

Photo Left: Dedication of a permanent outdoor Medicine Wheel;  Left:  In Rehearsal at Sony Centre.

 



SHOW PHOTOS
 
 
Shannon & the Premier
of Ontario, Kathleen Wynn
 
Shannon, Husband, Peter & Former Ontario Lt. Governor, David Onley after my speech at his retirement dinner at the ROM  We were part of the First Nations Opening Ceremony, International BioPhysics/Medical Conference, Toronto Metro Convention Centre
June, 2015
 
Shannon, Sandy, Kate getting ready to close the International Astronautical Society Conference at the Hummingbird Centre (2014)  Representing Canada at the Canadian Pavilion, EXPO, Nagoya, Japan 
     
 
 
 
   
Sandy, Raven Rap Story of Turtle Island Shannon/Sandy - Mahk Jchi  On Tour, United States  Veteran's Honour Song  
   
    Story: Eyes of the Wolf Story: Three Sisters  Cedar Sisters
National Culture Days
  
 
   Sandy explaining artifacts  Sandy: Raven Rap  Yunkee-oh - in honour of all missing and murdered Aboriginal women   McMichael Canadian Art Collection  
   
Durham College  Grand, Entry. Culture Days  Grand Entry, Culture Days    
 
 
   
Kate as Narrator  Erin Spina, Tsimshian - Fancy Shawl Dancer 


ORAL NARRATIVES

In the time of my Ancestors, there were no logical, scientific facts to explain why the thunder rolled, why the tides came in and out twice a day, the magic of shooting stars and meteors, how light came to the world, why everything is circular and comes in four's, how Crow Chief was cured of his arrogance and the clams cured of their gossiping.

These are just a few examples of the stories told in "Rolling Thunder"
It was the responsibility of the Cultural Guardians (Elders, Medicine People) to weave fantastic tales of supernatural beings with human attributes to explain natural phenomena and the place of my people in the natural world.

 




COMING TO THE VOCAL - WE SING BECAUSE:

  • It is one of the greatest achievements we have created for ourselves.

  • It is the universal language of peaceful communication.

  • Songs can be the cry of the heart, the transfiguration of the spoken word.

  • It is the soul's impressions that cannot be expressed in less spiritual forms.

  • It is beyond talent or art, it is basic human need to be able to express emotions in a way that satisfies the whole self.

  • For unity in communities.

  • For freedom to express honour and respect.

  • Because this is simply the way of it.

  • So, sing like everyone is listening!



COMING TO THE DRUM

Message from the Drum: "I am Mother Earth's universal heartbeat and sacred gift of Creation. I speak to all people equally and peacefully. I fulfill and create spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellness. I am a powerful non-verbal form of calm communication. I am the pulse of the Universe and the ancient wisdom of the Ancestors. By listening to the hum between voice and drum, you will hear how I heal disconnects as I sing the songs of all the brave tomorrows."
  • To hear its magic reflected in its power around us.

  • To hear Mother Earth's heartbeat move our consciousness into the inner worlds of vision, experience, and learning.

  • To go to the Dream World to meditate, rest and contemplate. 

  •  

  • To release stress, tiredness, emotional and mental fatigue.

  • To hear the teachings from the Medicine Wheel.

  • To find our power animals, and spirit guides that will help head us in the directions of inner reflection and connection or re-connection to those things that really matter. (Photo right, "Veteran's Honour Song."

  • To travel to the centre of Mother Earth, where we can spread our arms and feel the strength of the four great winds who have their roots in that magic place; where our spirits, minds, emotions and bodies become one with that which is greater than ourselves.

  • We drum because this is simply the way of it.


The intent of these gorgeous, sacred objects,
Gyemk ~Loop (Moonstone Women's Big Drum) (left) and K'ool Gyet Nah Hool (right) provide peaceful, easy feelings and experiences to people who play them, as they reconnect, heal and find
 their voices. My vision for  the big drums is to have people from all cultures come in loving, warm, supportive and elevating ways.  It is happening and it is utterly fantastic!

TNT invites you to join us on the ride as our collective voices soar to the Ancestors and heal the earth.


MORE ON THE DRUMS 



COMING TO THE DANCE - We dance:
  • To feel close and connected to the Earth Mother.

  • To the rhythms of our hearts.

  • So the fire of life permeates our souls.

  • To celebrate our connection to the land, sea, forests, animals, flyers, swimmers, crawlers through copying their movements. For they know how to move softly in the world.

  • For freedom; it moves us outside the confines imposed by a wider world.

  • To laugh, to cry, to bring dreams to reality.

  • Because our bodies were made to do so. Snapping fingers, tapping feet, nodding our heads to some internal rhythmic debate.

  • To feel empowered. to crystallize our thoughts and emotions.

  • We dance to simply dance. So, do it like everyone is watching!

 We dance because this is simply the way of it.

 

"Squawk!"  White Raven calls, "Book a Show, you'll Love It!"

VOICE@SHANNONTHUNDERBIRD.COM

 

 

 

"What joy you bring. What wisdom you share! We have been so enriched by your talents, humour and wisdom! You have started us on a journey that will be never-ending. How wonderful! Thank you." (M. Macleod, Limestone Board of Education)

 

“Chi Miigwetch, Singers, for bringing Moonstone Big Drum and sharing all your beauty.” (University of Waterloo)

 

Many thanks for providing amazing educational entertainment. The audiences were thrilled with all of you.” (McMichael Canadian Art Collection)

 

“I haven’t laughed this much in years. You & Sandy make a great team. I loved the Fancy Shawl Dancer & the big drum was magical.” (Audience member, Canada Employment & Immigration)

 

“Thunderbird is the first headlining First Nations performer to appear at the Imperial Theatre. We were really pleased to have someone of her calibre. Educating audiences through music and theatre is what makes this inspirational woman tick.” (Artistic Director, Imperial Theatre, New Brunswick)

 

 

 

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