The INTENSIVE (‘summer institute’)
Since 2012, we have offered a summer ‘Intensive’ deepen Dancing Earth’s commitment to recruit and cultivate next generation of Dancing Earth artist leaders. We invite local, regional, national, and international Indigenous emerging performing artists from emerging to experienced levels, for intensive training led by international indigenous cultural arts practitioners. The 2-3 week program is intended for includes:
Cultural exchange by participants to develop their skills as cultural ambassadors;
Intensive multidisciplinary training to hone skills for performing arts rooted in (non-western) indigenous esthetics and values;
Land dance practice - our outdoor pedagogy developed in collaboration with elements of nature;
Eco-sustainable performance building (including development of props, costumes and lighting with recycled, repurposed, organic, and renewable energy sources) ;
Creative collaboration on specific themes to build expressive potential for interpretation of stories/cosmologies
Graduates become eligible for subsequent apprenticeship for Dancing Earth company in performance and related administrative and producing skills necessary to this era’s emerging performers.
Dancing For Life
People of all backgrounds , ages, and without dance training are invited for 1-7 day retreats that reference many of the practices of THE INTENSIVE , to renew individual commitment to daily movement , re-imagine what a daily movement practice can be, movement for making community, movement for Movement building ( for specific social change initiatives ), and for reconnection for life forms beyond human.
This can be hosted in New Mexico, North Bay Area of CA, or as invited to other locations.
Indigenous Original Sustainability Skills
As the people of the planet face harsh repercussions of climate change, fracking, and exploitation of natural resources that threaten species, culturals, and sacred sites, there is a need to respect indigenous knowledge about how to live on earth , to shift culture into re balance for any potential for true sustainability. In the Southwest, we have Native mentor families amongst the Abaachi, Dine, Pueblo who has sustained practices for original ways of life ( bow hunting, firemaking, hide-tanning, heirloom seed and desert farming . wild plant foraging, plant medicine tea practices etc ). When we have brought international indigenous artists to learn these practices in special workshops of our Summer Institute, elders are excited to share and even more excited to see this interest from outsides to inspire their own Native youth as to the relevance of these practices. One of the intentions is to be able to place value on these practices, including monetary, so that knowledge keepers can make a living in this way rather than work for oil fields. There is considerable interest from beyond indigenous or artist constituency, for these ‘survival’ or ‘original’ life- skills, including from environmental activists. As we design this program in 2019-20, we will work with Native culture carriers, to vision and design for appropriate outcomes for the host community, and for participants .
Nurturing The Source
‘Nurturing The Source’ was initially developed with support from Catalyst Initiative, as a collaboration for community sustainability project led by Roxanne Swentzel of Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute and Rulan Tangen of Dancing Earth. During deep initial dialogue, what emerged was recognizing of women leaders and elders ( indigenous abd women of color particularly) being chronically overworked and over capacity, with ensuing problems with health and strain on immediate families - basically being unable to experience the powerful ‘good medicine’ that their determined hard work every day all the time was giving their communities. This evolved into a multi-faceted exploration of Indigenous rooted multi-sensory restorative practices. While self care has become a buzzword for many people, the indigenous roots of these practices are referred to without depth or specifcity, and in this country are rarely led by or experienced by people of that lineage (Native hot stone massage, tibetan sound healing, sage smudging etc ). With NTS, we aspire to integrate regular and consistent, peer encouraged preventive health measures that do not create strain as an added responsibility to leaders.
We anticipate potential for partnership and expanded development with respected Native organizations such as Native Wellness Institute, Well for Culture, Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute, to support leaders of color for a 1-3 day retreat that would provide the seeds for them to integrate this into their lives, with design of ongoing follow up protocol with cohort members.
This program is in development, to pilot in 2020 as a training ground for aspiring cultural artist educators by invitation. This would provide background in specific Dancing Earth methodologies and pedagogies, to be able to teach Dancing Earth technique and processes. While Dancing Earth artists do a large amount of teaching of their own area of specialization (capoeira, breakdance, hoop dance, music), or teaching sections of repertory, we have not had the time and resources to engage artists for a concentrated amount of time to give thoughtful and thorough training with the lineage and pedagogy of the training exercises that have been evolving in our collaborative practice over the last 14 years . There has been a lot of interest expressed: “ this is transformational, I want to learn how to teach this”. With Director Tangen’s multi decade cultivation of cultural philosophical knowledge expressed through movement , the timing is now right for uncodified creative explorations to be translated into specific practices with acknowledgement of influences that can be taught. This will enlarge Dancing Earth's circle of impact, with each cohort returning to their home communities to share practices that can no longer be served by Director Tangen as one person.
Cultural Research training ( in development )
This training is in pilot development, to reclaim cultural research away from extractive model and return to a community perspective that is mutually beneficial and relationship based. Emphasizing arriving with an offering, design of questions or prompts, taking time, listening, visiting, and service, this is the foundation of Dancing Earth’s ‘research’ style which will be shared and expanded with cultural collaboration of participants and mentors.