... current touring production ...

...SEEDS : RE GENERATION…  is a purposeful performance that Indigen-izes space as vital transformative gathering ground. Centered in Indigenous ecological knowledge, residencies culminate in an immersive, interdisciplinary, and participatory contemporary dance ritual. ...SEEDS : RE GENERATION… evolves from Dancing Earth’s intertribal artists in exchanges with Native elders, farmers, foragers, seed savers, and food and water justice groups, in visioning sessions and movement workshops that root our restoring/restory-ing of land and people. With the core theme of resilient adaptability, this work can be hosted by indoor or outdoor sites with opening dance designed to adapt to people and place.
We are so pleased to have NDP Touring subsidy for booking this as a performance or residency; we hope to inspire nourishment for your community!


Creative process evolved from our previous decade of cultural research on Indigenous water issues, which led us to the seeds, and roots of our origination, and the plants and foods of our sustenance. We began in early 2014 with a series of solos created outdoors through the seasons; out of this came one of Dancing Earth’s most beloved solo works, created in tribute to Anne Pesata, who first met Rulan in a dance class at age 8 on the JIcarilla Apache reservation, A fifth generation basket weaver, this solo has toured extensively and been acclaimed by Gloria Steinhem, Alice Walker, Winona LaDuke.
A version was created in fall of 2014 with 60 community members in the rural Four Corners, included students, Native youth, singers, farmers. Here is the documentary of the making of SEED: Food, Earth, Dance, courtesy of Fort Lewis Community Concert Hall and Theater Department.
 And a review of that production from
In 2016, with support from A Blade Of Grass fellowship and National Dance Project,
we returned to Fort Lewis Community Concert Hall to premiere ...SEEDS : RE GENERATION… with cast of 10 Dancing Earth artists including aerialist and hoop dancer, cultural guest artists, and DJ.
In excerpts and full length, the eco-production has toured to:
  • RIDDU RIDDU Festival, Saami territory, sub arctic circle, Norway
  • Planet IndigenUs & McMichaels Gallery, Toronto CA
  • Native Visions & Voices for Seven Generations, a festival of Native artists for Social Justice, Idyllwild CA
  • Oyate Okodakiciyapi Festival, Ordway MN
  • Crystal Bridges, AK
  • Seeds & Soul Festival, Lake Merritt CA
  • Bioneers Conference, CA
  • Gammage Hall at ASU,  and Mesa Art Center, AZ
  • Guahan, at invitation of Humanities Guahan , with support from USA Artists International
  • and Native community sites at Zuni, Gallup, Akimel O’odham, and Moving Arts Espanola at Okay Owingeh


... the re-story-ing of bodies land, water & skies ...

The performance ritual begins outdoors,
in the making of a community mandala, the rolling of your hands in clay to make seed balls balls that will burst into wildflowers this spring with dances of bees and butterflies, with the witnessing of paintings of Water Is Life exhibition by Southwest Native community artists, with video imagery of elders and canyon, with seed exchange and blessing and welcoming by local Native caretakers of the land. It began with the potluck two weeks ago, with with the spontaneous dances at Farmers Market, with elders sharing stories ten years ago, with an intention, with a dream, with ancient seeds of life planted before your birth. From the vital creativity outdoors, we collectively move into the sacred space of theater, unfused by sound, movement, image, scent, and multi sensory intuition and imagination.
An elder acknowledges creation forces of four elements, then descends into ceremonial world to greet four sacred mountains, and then moves into earthwalk into the circle of daily life, as the ancient new beings emerge from the hearts of mountains. They reflect movement of life force of rock, then seeds interconnecting with soil, then four-legged, remembering relationship with all these relatives. Our umbilical cords are buried with these sacred mountains. They tried to bury us but they didn’t know we were seeds. The deer spirit who gives to the people, and the people become that deer. Star sisters bring light to the surrounding realms. Then, in the form of two leggeds, we interpret through movement language the stories shared across generations.
The ancient feminine spirit plants seeds of culture for all future life forms, and passes it along to the original hunter, forager and planter peoples, whose ways of life are continued into the present.
The modern era is reflected by the looming presence of greed, who brings destruction, poison, desperation and oppression to the land, people, and water - with greed herself become toxic like an oil slicked bird. The people stand together to protect land and water, until they fall exhausted to the ground with their blood, sweat and tears, offering prayers. The water returns, the community makes their offerings for water, while the healing of sacred hoops of sky and earth are revealed by the star sisters. The earth, sun, moon and water returns to life with corn, beans, squash and sunflowers.
One woman returns to the land, to restore this vision for balance of life, one seed at a time. The circle of life is renewed, and the round dance spirals through the theater and beyond, to reverberate this dream-vision into reality for generations to come…


Created with Music:
Sound editing by DJ Ginger Dunnill, DJ  Kino Benally and Natalie Benally
Voices of culture carriers:
Courtesy Grand Canyon Trust as recorded by Marion Wasserman and Lupita Salazar: Drake Havatone, Longhair Havatone, Ophelia Watahomigie-Corliss, Randle Charles, James Uqualla, Bucky Preston, Aaron Preston, Molly Pesata, Anne Pesata, Leatrice Lewis, Teahonna James, Natalie Benally
Additional voices:
Casey Horinek Camp and Pennie Opal Plant speaking the text of Indigenous Womens Treaty Defending Mother Earth (for which they served as co-authors), Fidel Tohil Brito Bernal, Maria Firmino-Castillo, Leny Strobel, Maura Garcia, Leanne Simpson, Xiub Tzun / Juana Brito Bernal - Ixil Maya words.
Sampling songs sounds and compositions of:
Culture carriers voices with sound compositions by Kini Benally, Tanya Tagaq Gillis Ilunikav mixed with Louis Vega’s Elements with voice of Ursula  Ruckers Journey’s prelude; Orchestral Powwow Project’s Improvisations on the Sunset and New Women Song featuring Cris Derksen cello and Jennifer Kreisberg vocals; Frank Waln’s Oil for Blood; Tasheena Sarazin vocals courtesy of Aanmitaagzi and Waawiyekidewin; Soni Moreno in Izdzan Binadzoli; Calvin Standing Bear ‘Four Directions’ mixed with Indigenous Angel and Kino Benally’s Dancando o Noche Enteiro; “Deer River” by Pura Fe and Womens Voices for Attawapiskat. Samples mixed live may include from Philip Glass & Yo-Yo Ma - Old World; The Harmonious G8 by Banco de Gaia; Vibrating Trunks duet by Desirae Harp and Sylvie Heiman; AudioPharmacy’s Bambadam (Featuring M1); DJ Offerings Teao Sense’s track Freedom and Born Free, from album Moment; Primeaux & Mike’s Dancing Feather; Zarina Kopyrina Shamanas live Paris concert album; Orchestral Powwow Project; Dine water drum; Cannupa Hanska Luger - Clay work and seed sounds.
Live songs sung by Lupita Salazar:
Tierra mi Cuerpo, and Gulahallat Eatnamlin ( “ We Speak Earth” ) by our Saami sister Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska.
Costumes and Props:
Durango Costume Manager: Kate Sweetster Outdoor Contemporary Regalia for Water Women of Seed Exchange by Venaya Yazzie Tattoo-tards: handpainted by Randolph Duke, (Anne Pesata’s painted by Anne Pesata) Mountains and umbilical loops: Randolph DukeOcean of Trash skirt: Randolph Duke embellishing and re-purposing original skirt created by Joe Moncada Silk River: Shibori dyeing on recycled silk by  Tina Santiago and Cheryl OdomLiving Earth skirt/prop: Connie Windwalker Desert ancestors clothing and Seed Ancestor dress: Cheryl Odom with organic and re-purposed fabricsSalvaged clothing collected by Rulan Tangen and Kate Sweetster.
Video Projections, onstage and installation in lobby:
Marion Claire Wasserman
Opening Photo Images:
Anthony Ch-Wl- Tas Collins, of “The Hole in the Rock” in ‘Vavdag’, and of ‘Sveg Do’ag’ - Red Mountain


... with love & gratitude ...

We are blessed for a continued relationship with Durango, Fort Lewis College and Concert Hall since 2011,
with community calling us to return last year after the Animas River mining spill, to which we initially dedicated this performance, with additional intention as a functional ritual of transformation for other sources of sacred water and lands, including dancing our prayers in solidarity with friends, relatives and allies at Standing Rock in support of No Dakota Access Pipeline (for more info and to take action please view this link and consider signing this petition at
We appreciate the support from Mr Alden Naranjo and Tony Skrelunas for welcoming us to Ute and Dineh territories; Grand Canyon Trust Stephen Picha, Bryce Turner and all staff of Ghost Ranch Education Center; and Cara Romero Indigenous Knowledge Program Director for Bioneers. We are grateful for studio support from Pomegranate Dance, Dragon Rising, Railyard Performance Center, Institute of American Indian Arts, Academy for the Love of Learning. We also are grateful for donated seeds from Poki of Gaia Gardens, Nara Shedd, Native SeedSearch, Seeds of the Southwest, Northern Youth Project, Cameron Weber, Michael Crofoot and seed exchange groups for these gifts of life.
This performance ritual represents the shared cultural knowledge of many participants for over seven years including: Lupita Salazar and parents Eluid and Katherine, Drake Havatone, Longhair Havatone, Ophelia Watahomigie-Corliss, Randle Charles, James Uqualla, Bucky Preston, Aaron Preston, Molly Pesata and Anne Pesata and extended family, Leatrice Lewis, Teahonna James, Kevin Belin, Mykel Diaz ; Chef Karlos Baca; Roxanne Swentzel and the Pueblo Food Experience and Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute; Rafael J. Gonzales; Gerardo Omar Marin; Marrie Mumford; William Kingfisher; and special thanks to Pennie Opal Plant for permissions for incorporation of Indigenous Women of North and South America Treaty Defending Mother Earth (please view for full text of treaty and for further recommended action steps!).
This is a work in progress has been in development over the last few years through commissions of work in progress, for which we express our gratitude to: Bioneers’ Indigenous Knowledge; McMichaels Gallery of Canada; Planet IndigenUs in Toronto; RIDDU RIDDU Festival of Norway; Global Water Dances; Arts and Social Change award from Arts and Healing Network, Seeds and Soul Festival (thanks Javier and Jo “Love” Cruz); Dennis Elkins at Ft Lewis College Theater Department and cast and crew of SEEDS: Food; Earth Dance; Charles Leslie at Ft Lewis Concert Hall; and Ordway Theater MN (thanks Rosy Simas and Dayna Martinez).
Most importantly, we recognize creative collaboration of extraordinary cultural artists in current cast as well as Jerry Longboat, Shane Montoya and all DE 2014-16 International Indigenous Cultural Artist Ambassadors.
Dancing Earth is grateful to realize this production with 2016 support from National Dance Project, and A Blade Of Grass Fellowship.
We acknowledge our work has been made possible with additional support since 2015 from Catalyst Initiative, Arts for Social Change Award from Arts and Healing Network, McCune Charitable Foundation of New Mexico, US Embassy to Norway, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, USArtists International, and all our kind donors and supporters! We deeply appreciate additional volunteer, administrative and/or financial support from Lee Ann and Marshall Hunt, Randolph Duke, Kate Sweetster, Gabriela Perky, Maria Firmino Castillo, Liz Cameron, Michele LaRoe, Almah Rice, Jennifer Kilbourne, Solar Banner, Alma Rosa, Mitra Lujan, Intersection for the Arts, New Mexico Dance Coalition, Indigenous Arts Institute, Seth Fried, Rima Miller, Daniel Banks, Guthrie Miller, Amy Westphal and Michael Lujan, Pearl Potts, Alicia Piller, Angie Rizzo, Ezra and Sonia Leyba and Catalyst Water, Roshi Joan Halifax of Upaya Zen Center, Heryka Miranda, Javier Stell-Fresquez, Tamela Uzzetta, and our wonderful new agent and ally Andre Bouchard at Walrus Arts Management.
Thank you to the New England Foundation For The Arts & their support of Dancing Earth through the National Dance Project award. NEFA’s mission is to build connections among artists, arts organizations, & funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation & the world. The National Dance Project supports the creation & touring of new dance works & connects artists, cultural organizations & audiences across the nation.
Rulan Tangen is honored to be a recipient of A Blade Of Grass 2016 Socially Engaged Art Fellowship. ABOG provides resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence & serve as innovative conduits for social change. They evaluate the quality of work in this evolving field by fostering an inclusive, practical discourse about the aesthetics, function, ethics and meaning of socially engaged art that resonates within and outside the contemporary art dialogue. The Fellowship supports individual artists and collectives who are working in leadership roles and in partnership with communities, in ways that are relevant in everyday life, at ambitious scale, to enact social change. Rulan & Dancing Earth are sincerely thank A Blade Of Grass for this support!
Walrus Arts Management and Consulting, LLC
Andre Bouchard


For more information CLICK HERE.


Article in Stance on Dance by
Professor Jacqueline Shea Murphy



photos © pauloT.

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