More than Strategizing
The Role of Indigenous Contemporary Dance
in helping bring about Ecological Civilizations
Dancing Earth: “We gather as individual artists to create experimental yet elemental dances that reflect our rich cultural heritage and to explore identity as contemporary Native peoples. We strive to embody the unique essences of Indigenous multi-tribal perspectives by creation and renewal of artistic and cultural movement rituals. Ancient and futuristic, our dances are an elemental language of bone and blood memory in motion.” (from Dancing Earth Website)
The Strategic Approach to Ecological Civilization
plan and implement
More about Dancing Earth
"DANCING EARTH CREATIONS dynamically animates our mission to support Indigenous dance and related arts, to encourage and revitalize awareness of bio-cultural diversity through artistic expression for the education and wellness of all peoples." (from Dancing Earth website)
"DANCING EARTH has been named by Dance Magazine as “One of the Top 25 to Watch”, and are recipients of the National Museum of American Indian’s 2010 Expressive Arts Award.
A Request for Dancing Lessons
Dear Rulan Tangen,
I got to see you at a recent event at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, on November 5, 2016. I wasn't able to stay for the evening dance, because I brought students with me who needed to get home to Conway, where we live. But in the afternoon you gave a talk and led us through some exercises. Thank you so much for coming to see us.
I realize from your talk that you and your group dance for the well-being of all people even as you dance to explore identity as native peoples.
For my part, I represent a network of artists, teachers, activists and teachers who believe that the best hope for our world -- actually the only hope -- is ecological civilizations. We call ourselves "process thinkers" or "open and relational thinkers" or "fat soul activists." If you are curious about us see What Do Process Thinkers Believe? And if you want to know what we mean by "Fat Soul" please see The Fat Soul Manifesto.
We don't use the word "civilization" in a Western sense. We know that so much of what the West has done to indigenous peoples is uncivilized. We want to make amends for what we've done to you and also seek your guidance for the future.
For us an ecological civilization is a network of communities whose people live with respect and care for one another and the earth. They are creative, compassionate, participatory, ecologically wise, and spiritually satisfying with no one left behind.
We want to become the kinds of people who can help build and sustain these communities. We know that we cannot approximate these communities by strategic thinking alone. We need our bodies to dance our dreams, so that we can feel our way into our better hopes. Yes, please teach us to dance.
-- Jay McDaniel, editor of JJB