Rulan Tangen is an internationally accomplished dance artist and choreographer. She is the Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer of Dancing Earth, noted in Dance Magazine as "One of the Top 25 To Watch", and winner of the National Dance Project Production and Touring Grant, as well as the National Museum of American Indian's Expressive Arts award. Rulan has been awarded the 2016 A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art , 2016-17 Santa Fe Art Institute's Water themed artists residency, 2016 Catalyst Initiative from Center for Performance and Social Practice , 2015 Arts & Social Change Award from Arts and Healing network, Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service by UC Riverside's Chair of Native Affairs, the first Dance Fellowship for Artistic Innovation by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation , New Mexico School for the Arts Community Leadership Award and was honored as a top ten finalist across all disciplines for Nathan Cummings Fellowship for Social Change .
Rulan's work values movement as an expression of indigenous worldview, including the honoring of matriarchal leadership, dance as functional ritual for transformation and healing, the process of decolonizing the body, and the animistic energetic connection with all forms of life on earth. She has recruited and nurtured a new generation of Indigenous contemporary dancers and holds the belief that "to dance is to live, to live is to dance". She believes in this form of dance as continuing the link of culture - from ancient to futuristic - and culminates in her vision for Dancing Earth -Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations.
Devoted towards developing the innovative field of Indigenous contemporary dance, Rulan has taught extensively in Native communities throughout the hemisphere, including youth and community projects under the auspices of the Native Wellness Institute and the National Dance Institute. In Fall 2009, Rulan's choreography was appointed as Visiting Distinguished Scholar at Washington University. In 2010, she was invited by Stanford University's Institute of Diversity in the Arts to lead a semester project titled "Race And Environment."
Rulan has also been featured in lead roles with most of the major Native productions including Raoul Trujillo's 'Tribe', Daystar Dance/Dance, Minigoowezewin at the Banff Centre for the Arts Aboriginal Dance Program, C.A.M.A. Awards, Aboriginal Achievement Awards, Robert Mirabal's "Music from a Painted Cave" PBS television special and subsequent 80 city tour, and assistant to the Directors of 'Bones: Aboriginal Dance Opera'. She also has been featured as an actress in the PBS series " We Shall Remain", "The New World", and "Ancestor Eyes" for which she was nominated for Best Actress by the Action On Film Awards.
Rulan's three decades of performance credits include ballet and modern dance companies in New York (Michael Mao Dance and Peridance), Vancouver (Karen Jamieson Dance), Santa Fe (Moving People, Dancing One Soul) and California (Marin Ballet and Redwood Empire Ballet), and appearances with the One Railroad Circus, as well as extensive yoga training, and powwow trail experiences as a Northern Plains Traditional Women's dancer. Her choreography has been commissioned by venues including the Heard Museum AZ, Society for Dance Historians conferences in Canada and USA, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics NY, Teatro Nunes in Brasil, Centro Cultural de Recoleto of Buenos Aires Argentino, in New Mexico for Santa Fe Art Institute, Native Roots and Rhythms Festival, Santa Fe Dance Festival, Native Cinema Showcase at the Center for Contemporary Arts, in California for the Idyllwild Arts Program, Festival, Aqua Caliente Cultural Museum CA; in Canada for the International Aboriginal Choreographers Workshop, McMichaels Gallery, Peterborough Art Gallery, Living Rituals World Indigenous Dance Festival, Toronto Harbourfront's Roots Remix, and Planet IndigenUs Festival; and including films Apocalypto (director Mel Gibson) and The New World (director Terrence Malick).