Dancing Indigenous Futurities

The Movement of Viral Pandemic Times

Dancing Indigenous Futurities
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020
    5:00 PM – 7:50 PM

  • https://ucla.zoom.us/j/98153618646

Dancing Indigenous Futurities: The Movement of Viral Pandemic Times

In this two part, movement workshop and discussion, Rulan Tangen, Founding Artistic Director/Choreographer of Dancing Earth, will share about her Indigenous contemporary dance theater work as responsive to the times, including the COVID virus. Beginning with rooting in place, and experiencing movement as an source of knowledge, Rulan will describe how adaptability in the face of the apocalyptic forces of colonization, oppression, and now pandemic, becomes not only resilience but a reimagining of future, which is activated by purposeful collective dance and song and re-story-ing as a contemporary ritual for transformation. Dancing Earth takes on the challenge of expanding intuitive powers to be as wide as the worldwide web, itself a symbol that is paralleled in certain cultural teachings. Dancing Earth also maintains commitments to the relevance of our multisensory theater expressions by becoming multidimensional through media. Historical influences such as Ghost Dance, Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, and our background of ecologically-themed work as guided by Native elders and international cultural exchange, all organically inform our current cultural creative offerings to the cyberworld, reclaimed as a space of Indigenous liberation.


Rulan Tangen founded DANCING EARTH CREATIONS in 2004, after years of teaching dance workshops to Native youth on reservations. She strove to create a Native contemporary dance company that would provide hope and opportunity for aspiring performers, theater artists and technicians, who also serve as culture carriers, art educators, and leaders. Her professional experience spans international ballet, modern dance, opera, circus, film, and television production. Surviving cancer to discover her leadership purpose, Tangen continues to teach extensively in Native communities across the Americas, as well as institutes of higher learning. With a vision for inclusion, she has recruited and nurtured a new generation of Indigenous contemporary dancers through creative practice that explores intertribal diversity. Many of her students have danced with the company, crediting the work to have empowered their identities as well as their scope of artistic aspiration.

All attendees are also welcomed to join Dancing Earth's almost daily movement classes online--offered for free/by donation, to uplift, support, and connect communities--for as long as we are able to offer them!www.dancingearth.org

Recognitions Received:

- 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award, for Justice, Freedom, Courage, and Gratitude

- "Invoking the Pause" fellowship for Climate Change Trailblazers

- First Dance Fellowship for Artistic Innovation by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation

- The Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service by UC Riverside's Chair of Native Affairs

- Arts and Healing Network’s Award for Arts and Social Change

- A Blade Of Grass Fellowship for artistic excellence and social change

- Top ten finalist across all disciplines for Nathan Cummings Fellowship for Social Change


For inquiries and additional information, please contact:

Tria Blu Wakpa

Assistant Professor

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