Dancer & Choreographer, Rulan Tangen

Rulan Tangen (photo credit: Joe McNally)

Dancer, Choreographer, Company Founder & Director
Rulan Tangen

“The Dance of Waters
Monday, September 10
6pm @ Tipton Hall/SFAI
$10 general | $5 students/seniors

Of Bodies Of Water”
Saturday & Sunday, September 8 & 9
4-7pm @ Driscoll Fitness Center on the SFUAD Campus
Price $20

Santa Fe, NM – The Santa Fe Art Institute is proud to welcome – as part of our 2012 season of public programming, Half-Life – award-winning dancer, choreographer, and founder/director of Dancing Earth Creations, Rulan Tangen to give a lecture and workshop.

About the Lecture:
“ The Dance Of Waters “
Rulan Tangen shares the journey of DANCING EARTH’s second cardinal ecological performance, carrying the theme of water as entrusted by Native grandmothers from across Turtle Island. She has been invited to Native communities across the hemisphere to listen to stories that remind humans of the sacredness of water. The threats against this source of life have pushed the importance of these philosophies into need for contemporary invocation. She carries this cultural research with appropriate protocols into creative expression through her award winning Indigenous dance ensemble of DANCING EARTH.

 About the workshop:
“Of Bodies Of Water“
The element of water –  inside our bodies and of the plant – is the essence of life and one of the crucial issues of our time, and our place. A multi disciplinary creative process with intent of awareness and healing will center in movement and include tributaries of spoken word, sound, sketching, writing  and other aspects of ‘making’ . Community members will gather to explore their personal and shared perspectives on water, through artistic embodiment that reveals profound reflections and understandings. The workshop will culminate in an outdoor performance ritual.

 About Rulan Tangen:
Rulan Tangen’s lifelong dance journey centers around the founding, in 2004, of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS. Surviving cancer to discover her leadership purpose, Tangen draws from three decades of experience in professional ballet, modern dance, theater, opera, circus, as well as powwow, film, and television projects.

She now dances to revitalize cultural practices, and to explore the decolonization of the theater and performing arts. As Director, Tanged recruits and cultivates a new generation of emerging Native multi-disciplinary dancers. Creating from the indigenous principals of collaboration rather than hierarchy, her organic, intertribal process translates as an expression of diversity and identity.

Her vision for community engagement generates projects that are inclusive of public schools, inter-generational tribal groups, juvenile detention centers, Indigenous gardeners/farmers, and students of the environment, sustainability, social work, and theater.

Rulan’s work integrates realms of feminine leadership, artistic rigor, experiential education, intercultural and socio-environmental consciousness. Rooted in cultural respect, her vision for dance is at the experimental front of Native arts and expression in the USA, and is now being understood and recognized through honors which include Native Arts and Culture Foundations First Dance Fellowship for Artistic Innovation, Washington University’s Visiting Distinguished Scholar, Stanford University leader of creative response to “Race and the Environment,” and Costo Medal of UC Riverside’s Chair of Native Affairs for Education, Research and Community Service.

DANCING EARTH spins, stomps and spirals into life on the world’s dancing grounds as a collective of intertribal Indigenous dance artists, underthe leadership of internationally respected choreographer Rulan Tangen. Primal and contemporary, their dances are an elemental language of a bone and blood memory in motion. They have been recognized by the National Dance Project with an award for Production and National Touring, Nationals Museum of American Indian’s Expressive Arts Award, and Dance Magazine as one of the top “25 to watch!” Rooted in the spirit of the first peoples and the land, the mythic power of DANCING EARTH’s creations respect, embrace and expand the context of Indigenous culture into vital contemporary relevance.

About Half Life: Patterns of Change:
Cycles of Creation, Decay, and Renewal in Art and Life
When an object or system stops performing its assigned function in contemporary society, we tend to replace it rather than repair it. However, artists redefine useless as useful by creating a new life for objects, and that renewed life alters the role of these objects entirely. Artists work similar magic with degraded landscapes, blighted neighborhoods, and other systems—infusing them with new purpose and expanding the potential for positive change. Ideally, this change is accomplished with the participation of the surrounding communities—transforming not only objects and systems, but also the communities themselves.

About the SFAI:
Founded in 1985, the Santa Fe Art Institute’s mission is to promote art as a positive social force — both in our community and around the world — and to highlight art as a powerful tool for facilitating dialogue, bridging perspectives, and evoking visions of a better future.

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