Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside Gathering 2018

April 27 – May 6, 2018

All events are free.


UCR ARTSblock, Culver Center of the Arts
3824 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501

Parking lot rates are priced at reasonable rates and are in effect from 9-5, Monday-Friday. Parking is free before and after that time period and on weekends. Curbside metered parking is available throughout downtown Riverside, and is free after 5 PM, weekends and holidays. For more info, visit Parking in Downtown Riverside.

University of California, Riverside
900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521

Campus parking permits available at the Kiosk. For more info, visit Campus Kiosk.

ICR 2018 Dance Artist Focus:  Our highlighted guest artist this year is Grupo Sotz’il, who will be in residence at UCR from April 27 through May 7. Grupo Sotz’il is an eight-member ensemble of young Kaqchikel and Mam multidisciplinary artists dedicated to researching, creating and promoting Mayan knowledge and arts. Founded in El Tablón, Sololá, Guatemala in the year 2000 by the Tat Lisandro Guarcax (1978–2010), Grupo Sotz’il’s art reflects the present and envisions the future, with firm roots in the wisdom and knowledge of their ancestors.

Grupo Sotz’il’s participation in this year’s ICR is an enactment of the group’s desire to re-activate the long-standing connection between Indigenous peoples of the four directions, a multivalent circuit of exchange that predates the colonial imposition of borders. This commitment to transnational Indigenous solidarity has taken Grupo Sotz’il to almost every continent, where they have engaged in reciprocal sharing of knowledge and story. Selected by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ prestigious National Dance Project Touring Award, this is Grupo Sotz’il’s first visit to Cahuilla, Tongva, Serrano, Luiseño (Payómkawichum), Cupeño and Kumeyaay lands and their first time participating in the ICR. With the opportunity afforded by the ICR to dialogue–through words and movement–with artists and scholars from throughout Abya Yala/Turtle Island, Grupo Sotz’il looks forward to new connections toward future collaborations and forms of solidarity.

Grupo Sotz’il will present Uk’u’x Ulew, Heart of Earth. In this 60-minute performance of xajoj q’ojom (music/dance), fire, water, earth, and air interact in harmony and conflict. From their collusion and collision, K’aslemal, life, is born. The exuberance reaches beyond the borders of the performance space, but Tz’i’—the hound that embodies the word—signals danger. Grupo Sotz’il will present Uk’u’x Ulew, which borders between ritual and performance, at UCR’s Community Garden on Saturday, May 5, at the end of Medicine Ways. They will also dance a 20 minute excerpt of this work on Thursday, May 3, as part of “Arts Walk”, followed by performed responses from invited artists and a discussion in both English and Spanish.

ICR 2018 Writers’ Workshop: This year’s ICR will include a day-long gathering of writers contributing to a new anthology on “Critical Indigenous Dance Studies” that we are proposing. The day will begin with short “key point/generative question” presentations from those contributing to the anthology, who have circulated first drafts of potential pieces to one another. Responses from one another and UCR faculty, and discussion around overlapping and emerging ideas will follow, as we move toward reworking or refining the anthology’s structure and focus. The day is geared around this specific project, but is open to observers interested in the field. (Please RSVP to save a space if you’d like to attend; see link below).

There are several other public events this year, including a screening of work by Sotz’il and other participating dance artists Friday, April 27, and music and dance workshops at UCR.  See the schedule below for details.

2018 Schedule:

Friday, April 27

Video Screening: Grupo Sotz’il, Xul Kej and Louise Potiki Bryant, Tumutumu

Location: Culver Center of the Arts, Culver Screening Room
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Free and open to the public with RSVP. Please RSVP HERE.

Followed by Dialogue on Process with UCR faculty, including Michelle Raheja, Maria Firmino-Castillo, Jose Reynoso and Jacqueline Shea Murphy, and with artists Louise Potiki Bryant and Grupo Sotz’il dance and music ensemble members. For more information on these films, see:

Tuesday, May 1

Movement Workshop with Grupo Sotz’il

Location: UCR, Arts Building, ARTS 166
12:40 – 2:00 PM
Free and open to the campus with RSVP. Please RSVP HERE.

Wednesday, May 2 

Grupo Sotz’il in Concert / Lecture Demonstration
Music Department Colloquium Series

Location: UCR, Arts Building, ARTS 157
12:10 – 1:00 PM
Free and open to the campus.

Thursday, May 3

Indigenous Dance Exchange

Location: Culver Center of the Arts, Coil Brothers Atrium
6:30 – 9:15 PM
Free and open to the public.

Featuring an excerpt from Uk’u’x Ulew by Grupo Sotz’il, with dance offerings from Traditional Cahuilla Birdsingers and Dancers, Lukas Avendaño, Louise Potiki Bryant, Jack Gray/si dåkot-ta alcantara-camacho/Toni Pasion/Bianca Hyslop, Rulan Tangen, Ni’Ja Whitson, Sam Mitchell, and a welcome from Gerald Clarke. 

María Firmino-Castillo
Kimberly Guerrerro
taisha paggett

Karyn Recollet
Joel Smith

Friday, May 4

Critical Scholarship in Indigenous Dance Writers’ Workshop I

Location: Culver Center of the Arts, Olga Hammond Dance Studio
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Free and open to the campus with RSVP. Please RSVP HERE.

An international, interdisciplinary, gathering of scholars and dance-makers writing about Indigenous dance. Invited contributing writers will offer brief key points from their recent work, followed by open time to identity and discuss emergent  ideas.

Louise Potiki Bryant
(Atamira Dance Company)
Emily Johnson (Emily Johnson/Catalyst)
María Regina Firmino-Castillo (UCR, Dance)
Karyn Recollet (U of Toronto, ON, Gender and Women’s Studies)
Jacqueline Shea Murphy (UCR, Dance)
Rulan Tangen (DANCING EARTH)

Contributing Writers:
Lukas Avendaño (Independent Artist)
Tria Blu Wakpa (UCR, Dance)
Julie Burrelle (UC San Diego, Theater)
Gloria Chacón (UC San Diego)
Xóchitl C. Chávez (UCR, Music)
Ernesto Colín (USC)
Belgica Del Río (UCB, TDPS)
Susan Foster (UCLA, World Arts and Cultures)
Jessica Fremland (UCR, Ethnic Studies)
Jack Gray and si dåkot-ta alcantara-camacho: (Atamira Dance Company, Aotearoa; Guåhan)
Grupo Sotz’il
Dava D. Hernandez (UCR, Dance)
Rachmi Diyah Larasati (University of Minnesota, Dance)
Genner Llanes Ortiz (Leiden University)
Tanya Lukin Linklater (Queens University)
Jessica McMann (Simon Fraser University)
Heryka Miranda (Brock University, Applied Health Sciences)
Daisy Ocampo (UCR, History)
June Scudeler (Simon Fraser University)
Angeline Shaka (University of North Carolina, Visual and Performing Arts)
Czarina Aggabao Thelen (McGill University)
HoWaste Wakiya (Tharon Weighill) (Independent scholar)

Saturday, May 5

Grupo Sotz’il: Uk’u’x Ulew (in conjunction with Medicine Ways)

Location: UCR, Arts Building Courtyard
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Free and open to the public with RSVP. Please RSVP HERE.
Parking: Complimentary permits available in Lot 1.

Uk’u’x Ulew is a multisensorial Maya dance-ritual. Its interactive choreography provokes embodied reflection on the environmental/political/spiritual dimensions of our planetary crisis—stressing human complicity while restoring reciprocity with our ecological matrix, or Uk’u’x Ulew. A multidisciplinary dance work performed with live music, Uk’u’x Ulew was created collectively by Grupo Sotz’il’s eight Kaqchikel and Mam Maya dancer-musicians and dramaturg.

Sunday, May 6

Critical Scholarship in Indigenous Dance Writers’ Workshop II, continued.

Location: Culver Center of the Arts, Olga Hammond Dance Studio
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Free and open to the campus with RSVP. Please RSVP HERE.

Umyuangvigkaq: Yaanga Long Table and Durational Sewing Bee

Location: Ace Hotel DTLA, Segovia Hall
929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015
3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Free and open to the public.

Presented in conjunction with the ICR and led by Emily Johnson (Yup’ik), Karyn Recollet (Cree) and Cindi Alvitre (Gabrieliño/Tongva),
Full program details at

Featured photo: Lukas Avendaño, performance of La Cultura Mariposa de Lukas Avendaño, 2017
Photo Credit: Eduardo Lozano