Celebrating Earth Day Through Dance

Dancing Earth explores relationships to the land in unique performance

"They tried to bury us, but they didn't know we were seeds." This refrain is at the center of Indigenous-identified company Dancing Earth's performance, SEEDS : RE GENERATION, performed in honor of National Dance Week and Earth Day at Wide Fool this weekend. The performance, inspired by the three sisters (corn, beans and squash), is a celebration of Indigenous food sovereignty and an exploration of regeneration and resilience through Indigenous cultural perspectives.

Dancing Earth, based in Santa Fe and San Francisco, brings the performance home after an international tour reaching from the Sami region of northern Norway to the island nation of Guam. Company director Rulan Tangen tells SFR the company invites the participation of Indigenous community members while on tour, creating a unique and malleable choreography in dialogue between traditions and cultures. As a result, the choreography changes over time. The original movements, Tangen says, are based in bio-mimicry and the motions of traditional farming methods.

Tangen also notes that Dancing Earth is one of the only contemporary dance companies in the country that prioritizes creative opportunities for Indigenous people. The dancers hail from at least 10 tribes and each brings their own cultural narratives and perspectives to the exchange, as well as backgrounds in both traditional and urban dance styles such as contemporary and hip-hop. In development of the choreography for SEEDS, the dancers also consulted with Navajo elders and others from tribes in the Southwest.

"We call it contemporary because we want to protect traditional dances, we are not taking specific movements from those cultures," Tangen says, adding that the company creates a safe space for Indigenous intercultural exchange through dance. "The intent is not to generalize Indigenous culture; we enact diversity and maintain perspective through movement to keep things from being stereotypes, and to understand our experiences as Indigenous participants of our contemporary world."

"All members of the group come from places where bodies were used by others, and we also perform it in those spaces," says dancer Natalie Benally. She says the dance resists the colonized body and works to decolonize the spaces where it is performed.

The next stop is the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, where Tangen was recently recognized as a Citizen Artist for work that embodies service, gratitude, freedom, courage and justice. (Leah Cantor)

SEEDS : RE GENERATION
7 pm Saturday April 20. $20.
Wise Fool New Mexico,
1131 Siler Road, Ste. B,
992-2588

Westwomen

Public Domain / Susan Shelby Magoffin

When it comes to the history of the so-called Wild West, women seem to get glossed over in favor of deeds done by male cowboys, gunslingers and so forth. So, when that the Santa Fe County Genealogy Society hosts VanAnn Moore's living-history portrayal the women of New Mexico's Territorial Period, we're like, "Oh, totally!" Learn more about shapers-of-history like Doña Tules (a saloon owner and skilled gambler), Susan Shelby Magoffin (an amateur historian with a penchant for detail) and Lydia Spencer Lane (a writer and military wife with keen insight into the era). Not only will you gain an appreciation for their contributions to New Mexico's past, you'll gain a broader appreciation for the real-deal way things went. (Alex De Vore)

Amazing Women of the Wild West:
1:30 pm Wednesday April 17. Free.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
410 Rodeo Road.

Mirages are Better than Nothing

Courtesy Stage Russia

Like seeing Shakespeare performed in London or the works of Tennessee Williams in the American South, a play by Anton Chekhov broadcast from Moscow is just the way the master's work should be enjoyed. Stage Russia's international broadcasts come to Santa Fe every few months, and we get the Easter gift of Uncle Vanya, a story of family ties, romance and betrayal alternately hilarious, hurtful, hopeful and heartbreaking like only Chekhov could pen. These broadcast theatrical productions (including those from the UK's National Theatre at the Lensic) are pretty awesome, with the convenience of film but retaining the urgency of live theater. Besides, we doubt you could see actors' expressions this well from the audience of the actual Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia. (Charlotte Jusinski)

Stage Russia: Uncle Vanya:
11 am Sunday April 21. $15.
Violet Crown Cinema,
1606 Alcaldesa St.,
216-5678

Spin City

If there's one thing music fanatics love doing, it's sharing their favorite jams with the like-minded. It's a great way to broaden horizons, it's a great way to make friends, it's a great way to prove to everyone that you have a way sicker record collection than they do. Now if there was just a way to do that publicly. Wait! We thought of a way—the way we're about to describe: See, it turns out you can take your collection (or some of it, anyway) down to Honeymoon Brewery every Tuesday afternoon for a little bit of music-sharing and a whole lot of that craft-brewed kombucha. It's a win-win, really, and everyone reaps the benefits of that sweet, sweet vinyl. (ADV)

Bring Your Own Vinyl: 
4-6 pm Tuesday April 23. Free.
Honeymoon Brewery,
Solana Center,
907 W Alameda St., Ste. B,
303-3139.