IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

The Lensic, IAIA, and SFAI Present Native Dance Performance

Santa Fe, NM | Sep 11, 2012 –

The Lensic, IAIA, and The Santa Fe Art Institute present Dancing Earth’s Walking at the Edge of Water, a contemporary indigenous dance production led by director and internationally known choreographer Rulan Tangen. This work, making its premiere on The Lensic stage, features Native dance artists from New Mexico, Arizona and beyond.

Dancing Earth uses contemporary dance to illuminate issues of cultural, historical, mythical and philosophical significance. Every aspect of this eco-production, which explores the sacredness of water, reflects indigenous cultural and environmental worldviews. Tangen, who in 2007 was named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, also collaborates with Native artists for this work’s musical composition, language, video imagery, costumes and art.

Tangen has three decades of experience in ballet, modern dance, theater, and other performing arts. She has taught extensively in Native communities and has also won awards in the Northeast for traditional pow-wow dancing. She has a deep dedication to developing indigenous contemporary dance and believes it is a way to link a culture’s past with its future. As founder, director, and choreographer of Dancing Earth, Tangen recruits and fosters the newest generation of emerging Native dance artists.

For many years, the performing arts were a critical part of the IAIA experience. During the 1960s, IAIA students sang in contemporary Native American choirs while a new form of contemporary Native theatre was shaping a national movement. IAIA performing artists danced and performed in the White House and at national festivals, and inspired the design and construction of what is now known as the Paolo Soleri Theatre, which opened in 1971 on the original IAIA campus, now home to the Santa Fe Indian School. Through the years, performing arts in various forms has been offered at IAIA. A long-range campus plan includes bringing back the performing arts.
IAIA is proud to be a co-presenter of Walking at the Edge of Water. This the first time IAIA has presented a performance of this size at The Lensic.

Native artists, some IAIA alumni, who will collaborate in this world premiere include:

  • Painter and jeweler Tony Abeyta (Diné), who is an IAIA alumnus and Santa Fe resident, will provide a painting for video projection seen during the performance.
  • IAIA alumnus Sherwin Bitsui’s (Diné) opening poem from his book, Flood Song, will be interpreted in movement. The poem will also be translated and spoken throughout the production into the 14 Native languages represented by company members.
  • Diné and Santo Domingo jeweler and painter Ehren Natay, selected as one of SWAIA’s “Rising Artists” this year, will provide a new musical composition for the show. Natay, a Santa Fe resident, has also performed with Dancing Earth.

Dancing Earth is the 2010 recipient of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Expressive Arts award. Audiences can expect to see the dance ensemble spin, stomp and spiral into life throughout this performance. To view a recent Dancing Earth production, go to the company’s website: www.dancingearth.org/media.html. For more information about The Lensic, go to www.lensic.org.

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Dancing Earth’s Walking at The Edge of Water

7:30 p.m., September 28 & 29       

Tickets: $20–$45; Tickets are available at www.lensic.org, www.TicketsSantaFe.org, 505-988-1234, or at The Lensic, 211 W. San Francisco St., Santa Fe, N.M.


Contact Information

Dianna Delling, Lensic PR and Marketing Director, 505-988-7050, ext. 1211; or ddelling@lensic.org. Or Kim Baca, IAIA Communications and Marketing Director, 505-424-2351 or kbaca@iaia.edu