I discovered the incredible work of Rulan Tangen with Dancing Earth online and was overwhelmed with the the beauty of the still images and ambitious mission of this inter-tribal dance troupe led by Rulan Tangen, choreographer, artistic director, dancer and driving force behind the work of this troupe.
I approached Rulan about including "Dancing Earth" in our new documentary in progress, the "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico".
Seeing her latest performance which she worked long and hard with the troupe to create did not disappoint but rather exceeded any expectation I could have had. "Walking at the Edge of Water" which premiered at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe was moving, unique and spectacular.
This is a description from their website of the intention behind this performance:http://dancingearth.org
DANCING EARTH’s 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.
To see a further description of the inspiration, motivation and story behind "Walking at the Edge of water go to http://dancingearth.org/newwork.html
We interviewed Rulan at her apartment in Santa Fe and I found her to be passionate and articulate about the work of "Dancing Earth". This is a woman who has overcome many challenges that she has faced in her life to be the creative and driving force behind this very special inter-tribal dance troupe. She works constantly but is still the most organized person I have ever interviewed. She responds immediately to emails with dates that work for interviewing her and always kept us in the loop on possible shooting days to catch the troupe in practice and performance while she juggles the ongoing struggles of fundraising, grant writing and the demands of choreography, creative evolution of performances and a very demanding schedule of rehearsals as well as workshops for budding inter-tribal dance students.
“We gather as individual artists to create experimental yet elemental dances that reflect our rich cultural heritage and to explore identity as contemporary Native peoples. We strive to embody the unique essences of Indigenous multi-tribal perspectives by creation and renewal of artistic and cultural movement rituals. Ancient and futuristic, our dances are an elemental language of bone and blood memory in motion."