© 2021 KALW
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

”To dance is to live, to live is to dance” - Rulan Tangen on her indigenous, artistic worldview


Dancer and choreographer Rulan Tangen believes that “to dance is to live, to live is to dance”. You can see this idea manifested in her dance company, Dancing Earth Creations, which she founded in 2004 after surviving cancer.


She calls the work “indigenous contemporary dance,” inspired by the intertribal and interdisciplinary nature of the company. Her pieces explore themes like nature, transformation, and decolonization, all through an  indigenous, matriarchal worldview.


Dancing Earth Creations is performing as part of Dance Mission’s D.I.R.T. Festival in San Francisco this weekend. KALW’s Jen Chien spoke with RulanTangen about the new piece, and the origins of her art.


Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.