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Herberger College Dance welcomes artist Rulan Tangen

February 24, 2009

ASU Herberger College Dance’s Artist Faculty program welcomes Rulan Tangen, artistic director and choreographer of Dancing Earth, for a residency March 2–27.

During her March residency on the ASU Tempe campus, Tangen will interact with faculty, students, urban Native populations and Mexican-Indio communities to embed dance within urban conversations.

While conducting research and hosting open working sessions around the Phoenix area, Tangen also will connect with the University in Auckland New Zealand via Internet simulcast. This collective research will inform and support a culminating performance in the Native community to be developed next year.

“Rulan is a unique artist. Her work is thoroughly contemporary whilst drawing on Native American cultural practices,” says Simon Dove, chair of ASU Herberger College Dance. “She offers us all a vivid and engaging way of exploring frequently overlooked wisdom and knowledge about who we are and the way we all live.”

Tangen’s residency is designed to develop the community discourse with a general theme about the desert plant ecosystem and relationship with water, how this affects us as humans living in this environment or how our existence here is a metaphoric parallel for the biodiversity of plants and their ingenious modes of survival. She will explore the indigenous perspective on this as a starting point, examining four distinct but related themes such as food, water,  borders/boundaries and canals and urban alleyways.

“In a contemporary cultural setting, dance can again be the catalyst for transmission of community philosophies about life in a particular time and place, as well as involving historical past and hopes for the future,” Tangen says.

Tangen is a director and choreographer at San Francisco-based Dancing Earth, which can be described as an “inspirational array of Indigenous contemporary dance artists who work as a collaborative ensemble to embody the unique essence of indigenous identity and perspective by creation and renewal of artistic and cultural rituals.” For more information visit:  

Herberger College Dance is a division of the Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University. Dance Teacher magazine says, "the top-notch dance program graduates dancers who aren't merely accomplished technicians, but critical thinkers and socially conscious advocates of the art form as well." To learn more about Herberger College Dance, visit