We begin the year with gratitude, optimism and joy; looking ahead to an exciting year of sharing our work in Northern and Southern California to 2 sites in Canada , 17 sites in Arizona, several locations in the Four Corners areas of New Mexico and Colorado, and hopefully will be able to accept an invitation by Sami people for cultural exchange and performance at the RIDDU RIDDU Festival in Northern Norway!
We are presenting a powerful performance ritual that grows organically on the eco-advocacy productions of the last few years. This year it emerges in the form of a work for four women leaders, the incomparable culture carriers Anne Pesata ( Jicarilla Apache basketweaver, culture carrier, and all around superwoman who work for Health Dept of her tribe), Lupita Salazar ( Chicana farmer with masters in Environmental Sustainability, solidly grounded in her Northern NM roots and teaching theater for local youth at Moving Arts Espanola), and Natalie Benally ( Dine language speaker- featured as the voice of Dorrie in Navajo version of Disney’s Finding Nemo, and committed theater teacher for youth in Gallup), as well as Director/Choreographer Rulan Tangen ! Some images below, costumes by Cheryl Odom ( portrait of Rulan at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu by Paulo Tavares)
ITS NOT ABOUT PUTTING ON A SHOW; ITS ABOUT BUILDING CREATIVE RELATIONSHIPS THAT RENEW UNDERSTANDINGS OF LIFE ON EARTH …
Besides performances, we also generate many community-engaged activities such as dance workshops, seed ball making, potlucks, and seed/story exchanges !
THE POWER OF EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION …
Sharing the power of dance in one of our priorities and we have two full time programs, in our bases of San Francisco and New Mexico…
We are so proud ongoing educational activities. Jesus “Jacoh” Cortes is director of our full time associate program, Cuicacalli Escuela De Danza at the Brava Theater with bilingual dance classes in the Mission District of San Francisco. Besides devoted instruction, the students also perform at local festivals, and at protests against gentrification throughout the Mission. Info here about the tremendous work : https://www.facebook.com/Cuicacalli-Escuela-de-Danza-101263346638123/?fref=ts
And, SO VERY PROUD of the second year of creative movement with the youngest members of Cochiti Pueblo. From the vision of Trisha Moquino, who loved dance but never had a chance to study as a young girl, she reached out to honor us with the invitation to bring creative movement to the youngest members of Cochiti Pueblo. The Keres Learning Center is in one of the most magnificent settings in the Southwest, a pre-school where Keres is the language spoken. Our amazing lead teacher and Education Director Deollo Johnson has become a beloved guest, giving classes in creative movement weekly, and now is thrilled to have a new class of intermediate level, for gymnastics. The little ones have been enjoying this instruction from this big-hearted teacher !
Here is what they have to say :
“ The children love Deollo. He is kind, but firm and has a wonderful way of teaching a really important life and physical skill : understanding how our bodies move.I appreciate how Deollo has worked with KCLC. He understands our needs. We now have two classes and works age appropriately with each, the Primary and Elementary I class. We are so blessed to have him as our movement teacher. The children especially love the basic gymnastics he has started this year. He is an awesome teacher and human being!!! –Trisha Moquino, Educational Director/Lead Teacher”
“ Deollo works with children with perfect respect, engaging their intellect and their integrity. Deollo has a really intuitive way of interacting with children, gently challenging them, always raising the expectations so they’ll jump higher— in every respect.” —Mara Matteson, Project Director, Teacher
“I like how he teaches them in a beautiful way. Nobody teaches them like that.”—Lena Arguero, Teacher
And from the elementary students—
Zac:” I like that is is fun to do cartwheels and back bends. It feels good that I’m with him.”
Kawaika: “We have learned that we do drum movement and cartwheel. I feel anxious and happy.”
Lee: “ I have learned handstands and stretches to the side. Deollo is nice.”
Mililani: “ I learned cartwheels and handstands. It is hard and fun.”
Here is a fun image of Deollo, by Paulo Photography, in his ‘water warrior’ performance mode !
And in New Mexico, Rulan supports the Institute of American Indian Arts’ new Performing Arts Department. Last semester she co-taught Devised Performance 1, with Dept Chair Daniel Banks, and musician Ehren Natay, providing foundational training. This semester, the students create a production that begins by sharing of wolf stories, inspired by the fieldwork on IAIA instructor Amie Dowling in the Sustainability program. The student are the artists and production team, and will preview their work in MARCH at the AIHEC conference in Minneapolis!