Every day we have the opportunity to witness the depth and beauty of the world unfolding all around us, of the promise of creation and the renewal of spirit. Growing up on the farm allowed me to perceive it closely, to recognize growth and birth; to understand that even in death, there is life. As an adult, I am closest to it in the work of creativity.

There is something about the creative work of artists that takes us closer in, to look at what we see and listen to what we hear. 

A couple of weeks ago, on July 12th, I attended a performance ritual called “Between Underground and Skyworld” created by one of my favorite organizations in the world, Dancing Earth and my friend and founder of the company, the incomparable Rulan Tangen. 

For those of us in the audience, we were invited to witness the power of the movement of dancers who on stage became cartographers, tracing an arc that took us from the depth of indigenous origins, through the past and present realities wrought by extractive practices and into a future that is ours to re-create. They emerged in light and dark and in the relationship to each other, they found gifts of their ancestors and from some of these gifts, they began to thread and weave lines that connected what lies underneath the ground to the sky. For me, the work revealed both the literal urgency and the metaphor of what has happened and continues to occur; about how we treat the earth and how we treat each other. But, in this work, I also saw the promise of renewable energy. This is not solely about the ground upon which we stand, but what is on the inside of each of us as well, memory and story and above all the promise of our humanity. 

Thank you Rulan and Dancing Earth for these offerings.

- By Estevan Rael-Galvez - President/CEO at Creative Strategies 360, Former Sr. Vice President-Historic Sites at National Trust for Historic Preservation, former State Historian of New Mexico

Rulan Tangen