Dancing Earth is an intertribal collaborative ensemble of native performing artists under the leadership of choreographer Rulan Tangen. We create innovative danceworks that respect, embrace and expand Indigenous philosophies into vital contemporary relevance. With an interdisciplinary and cultural approach, we de-colonize theater protocols, process and practice by rooting in tribal worldview and renewing notions of who participates in dance, where it happens, how it is created, and what is the purpose. We are guided by native elders who advise appropriate themes for widespread sharing - including diversity, sacred land and water - for the health and wellness of all people and the planet.
Founded in 2004 with bases in San Francisco and the Southwest and with regular touring throughout the US and Canada as well as international invitations, Dancing Earth's projects integrate socio-cultural issues with environmental awareness, receiving acclaim including National Museum of American Indian’s Expressive Arts Awards, and medallions from the US Ambassador to New Zealand for cultural ambassadorship.
Along with performance rituals which tour to Universities, festivals, theaters and unconventional indoor and outdoor sites, we are committed to our communities, with workshops and training programs that reach remote rural native reservations and "invisible-ized" urban natives, as well as a broad span of non-native participants who are not usually engaged with dance, including farmers, environmental activists, students of sustainability, ecology, anthropology and diversity studies. Our current programs are water and seed themed, with site specific performance rituals that are redesigned for season and location, and related mobile cultural exchange and creative process workshops, as well as a summer intensive training institute in Indigenous contemporary dance.
Rulan Tangen's dance journey centers around the founding of Dancing Earth Creations, nurturing a new generation of indigenous contemporary dancers to bring ecologically-themed danceworks to 15 states and 6 countries as artists, teachers and cultural ambassadors. Surviving cancer to discover her leadership purpose, she believes in dance as functional ritual for transformation and healing, embodiment of ancestral and futurist worldviews, and expression of animistic energetic connection with all forms of life on earth. Her vision is recognized through honors including the first dance fellowship for Artistic Innovation by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Costo Medal from UC Riverside's Chair of Native Affairs, and Dance Magazine's pick as one of "25 To Watch."