Dancing Earth is in New Zealand! — November Newsletter 2013

BILLBOARDHailed by over 36 stunning posters and billboards posted across the streets of Wellington, New Zealand, Dancing Earth is overjoyed to bring Native American contemporary dance to the Kōwhiti Festival: Atarau Beam of Light. After a week of cultural exchange within the gorgeous traditional “Tapu Te Ranga” Marae, our festival schedule will be packed!

  • Performing “Walking at the Edge of Water” at the Wellington Opera House Nov 7-9.
  • Director Rulan Tangen will be keynote speaker for the festival’s academic symposium Nov 6-7.
  • Offering dance classes and workshops to festival participants and Wellington school children Nov 7-8

35 Dixon Street, Wellington (1)



A Note from Director Rulan Tangen

“I am humbled by this heart-pounding opportunity for DANCING EARTH to represent intertribal contemporary dance at this Festival for the very first time, carrying the important water messages shared by Native grandmothers and community members across many years of community engagement, cultural research, and creative exploration. The invitation to New Zealand is 12 years in the making”



We offer gratitude to the Jicarilla Apache Tribe which funded tribal member and Dancing Earth apprentice, Anne Pesata’s, participation as performer and cultural ambassador.  Other sponsors include Kōwhiti Productions, the US Embassy, Marshall and Lee Ann Hunt, Tony Abeyta, Jayne Nordquist, Leslie Arbogast, Cassandra Takeda, and Hotel Santa Fe. Kia ora to our generous cultural advisors, Terri Ripeka Crawford of Korou Productions, Jack Gray of Atamira Dance Company, Tracey Marama Lloyd, and Merenia Gray.




Want to tell New Zealand friends about us? Want updates on the excitement?!

Like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @Dancing_Earth, and invite your friends!



Nov 14-16: This year’s Congress on Research and Dance (CORD) in Riverside, CA will bring modern and contemporary native dance scholars and practitioners together to “decenter dance studies”. Invited scholars and practitioners include: Rulan TangenJacqueline Shea Murphy (Indigenous Contemporary Scholar), Cuauhtemoc Mitote Peranda (Choreographer of Mitote Modern Aztec Dance Company),  Terri Ripeka Crawford (Contemporary Maori Director with Korou Productions), Mique’l Icesis Dangeli (winner of Dance History Scholars’ Selma Jeanne Cohen Award), and Karyn Recollet.



Rulan Tangen presented on a panel of native artists at the Bioneers ConferenceAttendees included Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, and Ohlone elder Ann Marie Sayers, who was so moved by the panel’s work, that she offered use of Indian Canyon for an artist retreat.

After three days of meeting and learning from allies in the work of cultural and environmental education, Rulan and company member Javier Fresquez left the conference feeling refreshed and invigorated!


BioneersBioneers Native Artists’ Voice panel: from left, Reuben Roqueni (Program Director of Native Arts and Cultures Foundation), Rulan, Kade Twist (multi-disciplinary artist), William Wilson (photographer), Tracey Rector (filmmaker and producer) ”

At the Grantmakers in the Arts Conference in Philadelphia, Rulan Tangen, along with poet Natalie Diaz and media artist Cristóbal Martinez, presented a demonstration and discussion to rave reviews:

“Each of these artistic explorations…showed a different side of the clash between Eurocentric and Native worldviews…and of the halting and uncertain efforts to…heal the rift. Because philanthropy itself is at the center of not only the clash but the healing, the artistic connection was not just a feel-good reminder of why we’re all here, but intimately woven in to the conversation itself” — Ian David Moss, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Createquity



Mique’l Icesis Dangeli- won Society of Dance History Scholars’ Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for her essay “Dancing Our Politics: Contemporary Issues in Northwest Coast First Nations Dance”

Comments from the award committee: “Based on three years of study and her own life experiences as a First Nations performer, Dangeli argues that ‘protocol,’ the rules that are used to structure oratory, songs, and dances used in the performances, should not be seen as a set of restrictions, but rather as strategic deployments that aim for “dancing sovereignty” in multiple audience contexts. With this paper, Dangeli centers the body in a process of remembering and simultaneously reclaiming space and relationships, bringing a new and fresh perspective”


-Dancing Earth Admin Staff


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