2018 year at a glance !



  • Attending APAP in Mannahatta ( Lenape original  term for NYC) , in an incredible artists cohort led by Mark Bamuthi-Jospeh and Liz Lerman, to navigate the complex network of performing arts presenters. While there, Rulan also dropped into First Nations Dialogues with international Indigenous representatives . 
  • Middlebury College Dance Company performs new work of Native+Stranger with choreography by the awesome Christal Brown (head of Dance Dept and director of MDC) and Rulan Tangen. Chief Don Stephens of Abenaki First Nation was our gracious cultural host with whom students engaged in protocols at beginning of project.


  • Eco-sustainability cultural research with T’Souke Nation, Metis elders, and plant knowledge keeper Cease Wyss, as part of  Vni Dansi collaboration on MICHIF MEDICINES at Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver (stay tuned for next phase of performance at Talking Stick in Vancouver Feb 28, 2019!)


  • Cuicacalli’s first tour to New Mexico !


  • Rulan was honored with 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artists award at the Arts Summit  , and facilitated and  opportunity for the Kennedy Center to  acknowledge Piscataway host First Nation – thank you Gabrielle Tayac for the welcoming me to Piscataway land, and to Uptown Boyz for grounding the space with drum and song !
  • I was thrilled to head to NY  Live Arts for reunion of Michael Mao Dance Company, where I danced in the 90s. I re-connected with dancers I hadn’t seen for a long time and was so pleased to celebrate Michael who created many roles for me – with highlight being tour to  Paris and Norway !- and has been a wonderful mentor during my time dancing with him and to this day giving advice as a director !
  • Lupita Salazar dances in Renewable Energy Festival  in NM


  • GROUNDWORKS phase 1, We traveled to POmoi lands of Ptr Arena to create a beautiful  acorn duet for cultural community artists Bernadette Smith and Shirley Carrillo ( thank  you to emily johnson/catalyst) . We visited  Wappo lands with Desirae Harp to learn about planet harvesting from TekTekh, to climb the Wappo Peoples sacred mountain to witness the satellite towers that have been built there without permission, and visit to the geyser to support Desirae to obtain permissions for Wappo to be able to visit geyser which is now a privately owned site. We joined Ras K Dee in cultural conversations with his mentors, about language and songs. And joined Kanyon Sayers Roods in Indian Canyon, meeting with her mentor for story, language, and practice of protocols Gregg Castro. Thanks to   CAC Local Impact grant for support of this important cultural work !
    * Grupo Sot’zil  traveled from Guatemala to present their incredible performance at UC Riverside , with support from National Dance Project touring award !

  • Longtime friend and colleague Tracey Marama Lloydd is announced as Executive Director of ATamira, the magnificent Maori contemporary dance company of Aotearoa, alongside artistic director Jack Gray
  • UC Riverside’s Indigenous Choreographers Symposium
  • Rulan joined with a guest solo for a  performance led by Jack Gray at  UCLA
  • Rulan was invited to adjudicate Kresge Fellowship in Detroit- where I got to know the brilliant artists that make Detroit- such a fantastic creative city !


  • Dance USA gathering in Los Angeles, with panel on Indigenous contemporary performance practices !
  • GROUNDWORKS phase  2, animating  Bernadette Smith’s inspired script about protection of sacred acorn harvesting as communal ceremonial food , with youth at Pt Arena 
  • Dancing Earth artists appears in Santa Fe Opera , DR ATOMIC as choreographed by Emily Johnson and Peter Sellars
  • Anne Pesata dances in Rezilience Festival in Albuquerque !


  • Meeting a powerful cohort of women at the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute, and reuniting with O’odham host First Nation representatives, and dear hosts Carmen and Zarco Guerrero- artists and community organizers


  • Summer Institute
  • Sol4All performance
  • Michif Medicine second phase project in Saskatchewan
  • Art in Changing America conversation with Denise at Kennedy Center (thank you Roberta Uno for the invite!)  
  • Kennedy Center Citizen Artist cohort meeting


GROUNDWORKS project included:

  • dancing with the ‘Red Line’ with 30,000 marchers at Climate Change March in San Francisco , followed by  performance onstage at Sol2Sol Climate Change Summit stage in local park 
  • excerpt performance at Rotunda Series of City Hall, San Francisco, co produced by Dancers Group and World Arts West
  • performance at Alcatraz Island after sunrise ceremony, on SF’s first official Indigenous Peoples Day.
  • Dancing Earth’s Esme Olivia supported Bernadette Smith in producing a youth performance of her dance play SPIRITS WITHIN at the Native Showcase at GUalala Arts Center
    Thanks to suport from Kenneth Rainin Foundation, MAP Fund, and California Arts Council Local Impact projevct

  • Special thanks to our most amazing cast and crew  and cooperating organizations, and to the visionary advocacy for Map Fund, Rainin, and CAC Local Impact for providing funding  support 
  • Working  at UC Berkeley Dance Department with students on ‘GROUNDWORKS HUICHIN: from Strawberry Creek to Shell Mound ‘ with cultural mentorship of Corrina Gould as cultural advisor to ‘Indigenous re-Mapping ‘ of campus, including offering the dance to ancestors at the ancestral shell mound— older than the Pyramids and now a parking lot— in response to Corrina’s invitation to visit the site and pray so it can continue to be a ceremonial site as ‘dance is a prayer.’


  • CultureShift in Albuquerque
  • Natalie Benally directs first  Indigenous Performing Arts Festival at Ft. Lewis College!
  • participated in Dance USA live-streamed panel on Music and Dance –  http://www.dancingearth.org/dance-usa-music-and-dance-webinar-nov-28/


  • Anne Pesata dances a solo in collaboration with Santa Fe Youth Symphony- thank you Andrea  Cassatt for the vision for collaboration!
  • Very inspiring cohort meetings with National Theater project in Dakota territory of Minneapolis, featuring a meal by the Sioux Chef, incredible mentorship from NTP advisors, local youth performance by Sharon Day’s Indigenous Peoples Task Force, and brilliant artist cohort describing their upcoming projects : https://www.nefa.org/blog/watch-clips-2018-national-dance-and-theater-award-recipients
  • Another inspiring meeting of  California Arts Council in Nisenan territory of Sacramento, highlights being sessions on arts to heal from trauma, pathways to achieve better institutional equity,  embodied closing exercise led by Andrea Porras,  and lectures by Indigenous activists Stan Padilla and Sage La Pena ! 

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