Rulan Tangen Biography
Rulan Tangen’s dance journey centers around the founding of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS in Santa Fe, NM in 2004, after years of teaching dance workshops to reservation youth. Realizing that no Native contemporary dance company existed in the USA, she strove to create one that would provide opportunities where there were none.
Her professional experience spans international ballet, modern dance, opera, circus, film and television production, including NYC’s Michael Mao Dance, and Peridance Ensemble; Canada’s Karen Jamieson Dance and Banff Aboriginal Arts; Littleglobe’s Memorylines Opera; and Wise Fool New Mexico’s One Soulstice Circus. Native productions include Bones Dance Opera, Ordway Theater’s TRIBE, and Northern Plains traditional powwow dancing. She has danced, acted or choreographed for TV including PBS’s “Music From a Painted Cave” and “We Shall Remain” series, Much Music command performance for HRH Princes Charles, and films Apocalypto, The New World, and Ancestor Eyes, for which she received an Action On Film nomination.
Surviving cancer to discover her leadership purpose, Tangen continues to teach extensively in Native communities across the Americas, as well as institutes of higher learning. With a vision for inclusion, she cultivates a new generation of Native dancers, through creative practice that explores intertribal diversity. Many of her students have danced with the company, crediting the work to have empowered their identity as well as their scope of artistic aspiration. Her teaching credentials include Washington University’s Visiting Distinguished Scholar; guest artist instructor at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts for “RACE AND ENVIRONMENT”; Native Wellness Institute Leadership Academy; Artistic Residencies at UC Riverside, Indigenous Performance Studies, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Arizona State University; and New Zealand’s Intercreate symposium.
Her vision is recognized through honors including the first dance fellowship for Artistic Innovation by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service by UC Riverside’s Chair of Native Affairs, and as Dance Magazine’s pick as one of “25 To Watch.”