Walking…Edge of Water


Photo credit: Paulo T. Photography

“Walking at the Edge of Water” premiered in 2012, and was developed by Director Rulan Tangen through collaborations with cultural artists and community members across Turtle Island. “Water” premiered for Native elders at the SEED Conference in Albuqurque, and had it’s public premier at the Lensic Theater of Santa Fe on Sept 28-29 2012 in celebration of IAIA’s 40th anniversary, and in partnership with Santa Fe Art Institute, The Lensic, National Dance Institute of New Mexico, and additional support from USA Projects.


performance – WALKING AT THE EDGE OF WATER – is an inter-tribal contemporary dance expression of Indigenous water perspectives. Every creative aspect of this eco-production reflects cultural and environmental worldview, with Indigenous collaborators in movement, musical composition, language, video imagery, costume and visual art. This work is motivated by the urgings of Native grandmothers and invokes powerfully relevant water themes of creation, destruction and renewal. WALKING AT THE EDGE OF WATER parallels ancestral healing rituals in a dance of inter-disciplinary Native expressions that is both primal and futuristic.

DANCING EARTH’s vision for transformation through performance embraces extensive community engagement activities, to facilitate experiential creative knowledge for each participant, and infuse local perspectives into each performance location.




Rulan was first encouraged by Lakota grandmothers at the Native Wellness gathering in Minnesota to consider applying creativity to “ the need to purify the waters, of our bodies, and of the lands”. Later, Maori dance colleague Terri Ripeka Crawford concurred that this would be a theme worthy of global consideration, from her perspective of people of the Pacific. At the Buder school of social work, Stephanie Kettler compared the state of water to the state of women around the world. In Indiana, audience member Kellie Gillenwater asked if DANCING EARTH could create a dance that highlighted the work of Anishnaabeg women, walking the perimeter of the Great Lakes, to call attention to the sacredness of water.

In summer 2010, Rulan collaborated with intergenerational community members to make a response to the Gulf oil spill, first for the Somos Uno Festival directed by Roger Montoya, and later in collaboration with artist Chrissie Orr, DANCING EARTH performers and musician Barrett Martin for the T.I.M.E. outdoor exhibition at Buffalo Thunder.

In February of 2011, Rulan was invited to workshop her idea further at Trent University in Canada, where she was able to meet Josephine Mandamin, the originator of the Water Walks, as a co-panel speaker at the Indigenous Womens Symposium. With cultural support from water ceremony carrier Edna Manitowabi, Rulan explored the theme through creative exercises with a group of seven students and community members.

In summer 2011 she workshopped the concepts through community engagement ritual at the Santa Fe River Festival, and development of a womens trio with live musician for the Wild Dancing West Festival at the VSA North Fourth Art Center in Albuquerque. That fall evolved a trio for Rulan and 2 male dancers for the Bioneers conference in San Rafael California.

2012 has been entirely devoted to deepening the thematic material, beginning iin February with a solo for the Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver Canada integrating powerful film imagery by Elemental Designs and Louis Leray. In April she was invited as Indigenous Choreographer in Residence by Professor Jacqueline Shea Murphy of UC Riverside, alongside Maori choreographer CNZ Fellowship winner Jack Gray. There, she worked with 3 male dancers and duet with Jack Gray, shown at the Culver Art Center. June brought her to Peterborough Ontario’s Indigenous Performance Initiative where she worked on language based movement workshops, garden explorations, an appearance at the Ode’Min Geezis Festival featuring a striking entry from canoe onto the Gitigaan garden at installation by William Kingfisher. This culminated in a showing at Nozhem performance space with a local version of the water theme titled ZHISHODEWE (“At Water’s Edge”), with a cast of amazing Indigenous dancers, UNITY singers, spoken word poet Leeanne Simpson, and community members!

All of this has filled the bowl of creativity for DANCING EARTH‘s production: WALKING AT THE EDGE OF WATER!


Touring of this “Walking at the Edge of Water” included:

November 2012
: Congress of Research on Dance

February 2013 : Exhibition of related short film Reflections at the Edge of Water (by Rulan Tangen, Elemental Designs and Louis Leray for DANCING EARTH) at the Puke Ariki MUseum of New Zealand for the Intercreate Third Nature exhibition

January 2013-July 2014 : Related ‘Waters of Wellness’ movement arts workshops for Native youth, University students, and intergenerational community members for communities of Boulder, Denver, Durango, Dulce, Peach Springs, Portland, San Francisco, Redding, Arcata, Shasta, Riverside, Sherman Indian School and Peterborough Canada, covering 5 states and 2 countries

April 2013 : Stanford University

August 2013 : New York City

September 2013 : British Columbia, Canada

October 2013 : London showing of related film

November 2013 : Kowhiti Festival in Wellington New Zealand




SINA-AURELIA SOUL-BOWE’ (Walking at the Edge of Water’s Music Director, and Singer/Dancer educator) SINA-AURELIA SOUL-BOWE’s shamanic sound is the product of Native, South Pacific, & Afro-Latino bloodlines. Hailing from the Western Samoan, Atakapa-Ishak & Dine nations, Soul womanifests song that synthesizes spiritual harmonic healing with an ancestral awakening. Soul’s proliferation as an international underground icon stems from her work as a multi-lingual lyrical activist & multi-instrumental vocalist. Soul is a Brown University Alumna, Zulu Queen ordained by Afrika Bambaata, curandera & griot, named Wumei or ‘beautiful warrior’ by Mokotaidejekan. In academia, Soul-Bowe’s work as an SocioEthnomusicologist, Filmmaker, Writer and Educator specializes in the diasporic, indigenous roots of Hip Hop culture. She conducts international workshops and lectures in conjunction with her musical tours, FROM AFRICAN CROP TO BEBOP TO HIP HOP©®™ and I.R.O.H.H.C The Indigenous Roots of Hip Hop Culture©®™ which depict the cross-cultural hybridization, transmigration and ongoing globalization of tribal rhythm and sound. Soul has conducted workshops for youth at all 19 Native American Pueblos and the 3 Reservations in New Mexico, and is an educator at Ralph J. Bunche Academy and the Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque. Her musical work has spanned the globe opening for and performing with RockSteady, K.R.S.O.N.E, Melly Mel, The Roots, the late Celia Cruz, the Marleys, the Wailers, Sister Carol, Cassandra Wilson, Cody Chestnut, DeadPrez, Bahamdia, B.B.King, Zap Mama!, Rochelle Ferrel and touring with Erykah Badu & George Clinton (P-Funk) on The Smoking Grooves Tour.


Soul-Bowe’s original compositions have been produced and performed on stages throughout the nation including George Houston Bass’ Rites & Reason Theater and The Blue Note (NYC) and she is the Founder of New Mexico Musicworks, a 501c3 that uses Music to educate and heal. She is Strategist and Foundation Director for DC Roots’ Roots International Sustainable Enterprises, an Advisory Board Member/B-Girl with P.A.T.H. Preserving, Archiving, Teaching Hip Hop, performs with SWEETLIFE, is Architect of THE AFRICAN ROOTS OF JAZZ Project and Musical Director for Rulan Tangen’s Indigenous Native American dance company, Dancing Earth Creations. Soul is the mother of two boys, Solomon Apiliato Marley & Justus Ramses Vailoa; and the wife of Jazzmaster/Producer Rodney Bowe. www.sinasoul.info (Photo by Paulo T Photography)


jackgray2013JACK GRAY was born in West Auckland, NZ with tribal links to Ngati Porou and Te Rarawa. He was the founder of Atamira Dance Collective in 2000 and has continually developed his performance craft as a dancer and choreographer for the company. He has the distinction of having danced the repertoire of every major Atamira production.

Jack is creatively a free spirit with a love of travel and working within the context of indigenous dance performance. His international resume includes scholarships to Impulstanz Wien in Austria, Atelier Du Monde in France, Asia Pacific Young Choreographers Project in Taiwan and the UCR Indigenous Dance Scholar in Residence in the USA amongst others. More recently, Jack’s focus has been on fulfilling his passion for taking Maori perspectives to the world, achieved through his 2011 AMP Scholarship Award. This expanded his work through performances and choreography with Dancing Earth based in New Mexico, USA, in a First Nations Showcase at BlakDance Australia and co-writing for Biography journal at the University of Hawaii.

Jack’s choreographic vision for Mitimiti will see his development of these ideas towards a future full length work in 2014.



International Guest Apprentices from Canada


Nimkii Osawamick is an Ojibwe Pow wow dancer from Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island unceeded reserve in Canada. He comes from the wolf clan. Nimkii started dancing since he could remember and performed recently as actor in Weskeyjack play by Alanis Morrisette for the Ode’min Geezis Festival in Ontario. He is founder of a new business initiative D.N.A.: Dedicated Native Awareness. (photo by Alicia Ledezma)

Danni Daysky Okemaw is Ojibway (Annishanbe) and Cree from the Manto Sipi Cree Nation, and Berens River First Nation of Manitoba, Canada. She attends the Victoria School of the Arts in Edmonton, Alberta. With 17 years of dance training in ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and modern, she has performed with the award-winning Sikat Dance Company. She was selected for the first “Dance Zone” award at the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards in 2009, and is also a fancy shawl dancer who travels all throughout Indian country.


Guest Artist


Nakotah12NAKOTAH LARANCE (Hopi, Tewa, Assiniboine) (Dancer) was dancing by age 4 in Pow Wow and Hoop Dance contests and is considered a master Hoop Dancer with 6 world championships. A talented actor with many credits in Film and Television, his first love has always been dance. Nakotah enjoys all physical movement of the body including Hip Hop, Break Dancing and Martial Arts. He recently returned to New Mexicoafter a 2 1/2 year World Tour as a principal dancer for Cirque Du Soleil’s “Totem” show.





lexihodell-102013LEXI HODELL is Chiquitano from Santa Cruz, Bolivia and has over 16 years experience working as a dancer in styles such as popping, house, breaking, freestyle and hip hop choreography. Lexi has been teaching workshops, master classes throughout the U.S. and performing in flash mobs, music videos, and concerts., including Kansas City’s TigerStyle! Professional Performance Company since 2011. Lexi Hodell has traveled throughout Europe battling and street performing as well as doing commercial work for the Cabaneli Clothing line in Paris, France. His clothing line today, L.T.M.D Brand, the motto “Less Talk More Dance” inspired him to share with dancers who express their hearts through movement and music. Lexi’s accomplishments with L.T.M.D. Brand and TigerStyle! were featured ABQ Live Magazine 2013. Lexi continues to work hard as a Choreographer and a Dancer but most importantly to push and inspire dancers of all ages.


National Apprentices


Erika_Archer2011Erika Archer (Dancer) from Fort Washington Maryland, representing the Meherrin Nation of North Carolina. She has been dancing since the age of three in a variety of styles including modern, tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary and hip-hop. Most recently she has taken part in styles such as Latin, African, and powwow style Women’s Fancy Shawl. Erika is very passionate about the arts in all forms. She is a pop recording artist under Bully Music Group, a model and aspiring actress. She is a recent college graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park. (Photo by Alejandro Quintana)



Asia Soleil Yazzie is from Chichiltah (Oak Canyon, New Mexico) and from Dine’ (Navajo) tribe. She had, at the time, recently graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor of Arts in Native American and Indigenous Studies. A former dancer and choreographer for Fort Lewis College’s Register Student Organization “Dance Co-Motion” in the styles of hip-hop, pow-wow, and belly dance.


Raven Knight is a dancer, actress, and writer from the Jicarilla Apache Nation where she first danced with Rulan Tangen over ten years ago as part of the National Dance Institute. She is currently a member of Arizona Hip Hop Soul Dancers, an informal dance group/crew in Phoenix, Arizon, and is moving to New York to minor in dance and theater at SUNY Albany.





Hosanna Sophia Littlebird is a native New Mexican, raised in New York City, born of Pueblo and Ukrainian parents. Sophia trained in classical ballet, flute and piano throughout her childhood until high school and then began her independent musical education during the mid 1990’s exploring the New York Hip Hop underground, jazz, and house dance music scenes expanding and influencing her musical styles. During her time in the house dance scene, she released five successful singles and an EP. Seeking to create a new sound and movement which was more representative of her true voice and spirit, Sophia started to produce her own music, writings, videos and imagery and has been nurturing and developing her own unique art at the center of which is Divine love expressed for the healing of the Universe. (Photo by Paulo T. Photography)



IAIA Internship Performance Apprentice


Windsong is an enrolled member of the Taino Nation. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied modern dance. Windsong is a hereditary shaman, shamanic trance dancer, and traditional midwife. Medicina Alternativa awarded her an M.D. for this work, recognizing her as a Traditional Indigenous Doctor and as a Doctor of Alternative Medicine. Windsong is spiritual advisor to Tewa Women United and to TWU’s Circle of Grandmothers, of which she is an honorary member. (Photo by Paulo T. Photography)




Moira Garcia is a visual and healing artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a student printmaker and photographer at the Institute of American Indian Arts and is an apprentice of Curanderímso with Kalpulli Teocalli Ollin. Moira began dancing Hula on the island of Kaua’i at age four.

Comments are closed.