Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside

April 29 – May 2, 2014
Open to the public

Host and Coordinator: Jacqueline Shea Murphy, Chair UCR Department of Dance

Assistant Coordinator: Casey Avaunt

Advisor: Jack Gray

Sponsored by the UCR Department of Dance

Department of Dance Logo


The 2014 Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside (ICR), hosted by the UCR Department of Dance, marks the 10th year anniversary of the groundbreaking 2004 Red Rhythms: Contemporary Methodologies in American Indian Dance conference, and follows a decade of programming that has made bringing Indigenous dance and dance leaders to UC Riverside an annual event.

The 2014 Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside residency (ICR) is itself part of a year-long celebration recognizing the 20th anniversary of UCR’s groundbreaking and world-renowned Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies. 

Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside is presented by the UCR Department of Dance with additional support from the UCR College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Dean’s Office, the Culver Center of the Arts, the National Dance Project, the UC Riverside Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs and Native American Education Programs, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, UCR’s departments of Ethnic Studies, Music, and Global Studies, the Center for Ideas, and Society, and Native American Student Programs.

Acknowledgments:  Thanks to Josh Gonzales (Director, Native American Student Programs); Cliff Trafzer (Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs and Director, California Center for Native Nations); Tyler Stallings (Artistic Director, Culver Center for the Arts); Leslie Ann Gerretse (UCR ARTSblock Event Manager); Kathy DeAtley, Katrina Oskie, Reasey Heang  and Shellee Kreuter (UCR Performing Arts Administration); Greg Renne and Thom Rabone (CHASS Production Management); Melissa Conway and Eric Milenkiewicz  (UCR Special Collections); Casey Avaunt, Meghan Quinlan, Julie Freeman, Wei-Chi Wu, Denise Machin (UCR Dance Graduate Students); Michelle Raheja (UCR English); Lisa Wymore and Catherine Cole (UC Berkeley Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies); the UCR Dance department; Michael Tsosie and Elaine Talamaivao (support all around); and CHASS Dean Steve Cullenberg. Special thanks to Jack Gray for his vision, energy, passion, and provocations.


Tuesday, April 29
2:00-3:30 pm 

Indigenous Dance Workshop by Rulan Tangen
UCR Dance Studio, ARTS 100 

4:00 pm 

Activating Indigenous Dance Now (Welcoming event and reception) 
With Kim Marcus, Serrano and Cahuilla Ceremonial leader, and the ICR participants
UCR Performance Lab, ARTS 166 

Wednesday, April 30
2:00 pm 

Ceremonial Donation of DANCING EARTH archive by Rulan Tangen to UCR Special Collections Library
Special Guest: Choreographer Daystar/Rosalie Jones
With Bill and Monica Madrigal and the Mountain Cahuilla Bird Singers
UCR Tomás Rivera Library – 4th Floor Costo Room of Special Collections & University Archives 

Thursday, May 1
2:00-3:30 pm 

Allegory of the Cranes by Daystar/Rosalie Jones (Screening)
UCR CHASS Interdisciplinary Screening Room, INTS 1128 

7:00-9:00 pm 

Evening of Indigenous Choreography (Performance)
Culver Center of the Arts Atrium
3824 Main Street in Riverside, CA 92501

We Wait In The Darkness, Rosy Simas Danse
“We Wait In The Darkness” is a journey of displacement and homecoming fueled by the stories of the Seneca women of Simas’ family, particularly her grandmother. It is presented in an otherworldly environment of paper, film, maps, artifacts and sound. This work is created in collaboration with French composer François Richomme and production manager Steven Carlino. 

Elder Grandmother Speaks: Visioning in Life and Art, Daystar/Rosalie Jones
A traditional voice offers thoughts on the power of dreams while traveling from survivalism to the reality of being Indigenous.

Turangawaewae – Standing Place, Jack Gray with performer Tria Andrews
Excerpt from “Berkeley Dance Project 2014: Intimate Distance” exploring connection, genealogy and courage as practices for holding ground.

Something Bigger Than Me, Bianca Hyslop, Atamira Dance Company
An exploration and embracing of what allows us to stay connected in an increasingly disharmonious world.

Origi-Nation: Roots and Seeds (work in progress; pre-show and final piece), DANCING EARTH; Rulan Tangen, Artistic Director
Preview of solo from a new creative cycle that explores relationship to Native seeds, roots and plants. Dedicated to Grandma and Grandpa Diala in the green grass at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, and their roses that will never fade.

Friday, May 2
9:00-3:00 pm 

Indigenous Dance and Indigenous Development Symposium
UCR Performance Lab, ARTS 166

Response and Discussion: Evening of Indigenous Choreography
With the ICR performers and:
Michael Tsosie, Independent Tribal Scholar
Wendy Rogers, UCR Dance
Anthea Kraut, UCR Dance
Karyn Recollet, University of Sudbury
Mique’l Dangeli, University of British Columbia
Elaine Talamaiveo, Tala Mai Moana Productions, Riverside

Indigenous Development: Structures and Support for Indigenous Dance
With the ICR performers and:
Cliff Trafzer, UCR Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs
Michelle Raheja, UCR English
Kim Marcus, Serrano and Cahuilla Traditional Ceremonial leader
Shannon Wray, The Native performing and Media Arts Group

        • How can we activate structures and support for indigenous dance?
        • How to acknowledge? By name, nation, community, artistic practice? How to acknowledge all that we bring into this space?
        • What are different ways of seeding the activation and strengthening of indigenous dance practices – outside and inside the university – now?

Poroporoake (Closing Circle)

Events are free and open to the public.
Information: (951) 827-3245 performingarts@ucr.edu


Tria Andrews is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and a graduate of the M.F.A. program in fiction at San Diego State University. Her dissertation, “Education on the Reservation: Extracurricular and Culturally Relevant Programming,” examines educational activities for youth on an Indian reservation from the founding of a boarding school in the late 19th century to the present day. In addition to writing her dissertation, Andrews is currently completing a collection of poetry, titled, “Dead Center of the Heart.” She founded and co-facilitates the Race and Yoga Working Group through the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley and teaches for Poetry for the People, Prison University Project, and University of San Francisco. In March 2014, Andrews began studying dance under Jack Gray.

Steven Carlino is a NYC based artist writer and performer. He supports his artistic habit by working on the other side of the stage as a Production Manager. He has worked with the Infamous Fred Ho and the Afro-Asian Jazz Ensemble, the downtown NYC collective Mabou Mines, and a decade long stint at the Paul Taylor Dance Company. In addition Carlino is founder of GreenHeartYogaNY where he teaches yoga and meditation and produces a related biweekly podcast.

Mique’l Dangeli is of the Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska and a PhD Candidate in Art History at the University of British Columbia. She is a leader of the Git Hayetsk Dancers, a teacher and choreographer of Tsimshian dance, curator, and dance studies scholar. ​

Jack Gray is a New Zealand Maori choreographer and dancer with tribal links to Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu. The founder of Atamira Dance Collective – a platform for contemporary Maori Dance artists – Gray has collaborated and performed work with the company throughout New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, the U.S., Hawaii and the Solomon Islands. In 2011, Gray was a recipient of the AMP Scholarship to travel to the United States to further his creative and cultural vision. He was a collaborator with Rulan Tangen for Dancing Earth’s premiere of Walking at the Edge of Water (2012). In 2013, he was an artist in residence at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Oahu, Hawaii, where he was commissioned to create dance work in relation to the re-opening of the museum’s Pacific Hall; this spring (2014) he is a guest choreographer at UC Berkeley, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the dance department at UCR. Gray has worked at the forefront of many Indigenous dance innovations including co-choreographing The Whare Tapere with Louise Potiki Bryant and Charles Royal and participating in the Indigenous Choreographic Laboratory with Marrugeku (Australia) with other cultural performance artists.

Bianca Hyslop is an emerging choreographer from Aotearoa/New Zealand, and a principal dancer of Atamira Dance Company.  She completed a bachelor of performing and screen arts at Auckland’s Unitec in 2009, majoring in contemporary dance. She has performed with the company in Hou, in the KAHA Short Works tour (including performances in Hawaii, San Francisco and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts), in “TOHU – Urban Disturbance,” and at the Pacific Arts Festival in the Solomon Islands. Hyslop has also performed in Charles Royal’s project, “Te Whare Tapere,” danced in the “World of Wearable Arts” and toured nationally with Okareka Dance company’s full length work, “Nga Hau E Wha.” She was recently awarded the esteemed Eileen May Norris Dance Scholarship, a grant that recognizes outstanding dance talent in the country.

Anthea Kraut is Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches courses in critical dance studies.  Her first book, Choreographing the Folk: The Dance Stagings of Zora Neale Hurston, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2008.  Her next book focuses on the history and politics of copyright for choreography in the United States.

Bill Madrigal is of Cahuilla and Luiseno ancestry from our local reservation communities and is a UCR Alumni. He keeps the traditions alive through the work he and his family have done teaching the Birdsongs and Dances of the Southern California’s first people. He teaches the Cahuilla and Luiseno language to students of all ages, and has taught a Luiseno Language course to UCR students. Together with his wife Monica, Bill his and family have taught workshops on Cahuilla and Luiseno Creation and traditional beliefs, birdsinging and dancing, traditional basket making, and weewish making, a traditional food of the Cahuilla and Luiseno people.

Kim Marcus is a Serrano and Cahuilla Traditional Ceremonial leader, and a Traditional Ceremonial Singer and Bird Singer. Marcus’s family is responsible for reviving the Cahuilla coyote dances, under the direction of Cahuilla elders.  

Nikolay Maslov is the scene technician for UCR ARTSblock. He is a graduate of UC Riverside and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Michelle Raheja is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside and author of Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010). 

Karyn Recollet is an Assistant Professor at the University of Sudbury, in Ontario, Canada. Recollet is a city-raised Cree living in the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek Nation.  Recollet’s research focuses on Indigenous hip-hop, social justice and performance studies. 

François Richomme is a musician, sound engineer and sound designer trained in contemporary dance, Richomme creates the scores of numerous world-class choreographic productions. His work investigates mainly the question of sound considered as a space, movements of sounds using multiple speakers installations and explores how the body, dance and choreography can become a source language defining musical structure in composition.

Wendy Rogers is a Professor of Dance at the University of California, Riverside.

Daystar/Rosalie Jones’ career spans forty-six years, during which time she taught throughout the United States and Canada to encourage and promote the development of Indigenous talent in the performing arts. Born on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, Daystar/Rosalie Jones is of Little Shell Chippewa ancestry on her mother’s side. She holds a Masters Degree in Dance from the University of Utah and studied at the Juilliard School in New York City under José Limón. In 1980 she founded Daystar: Contemporary Dance Drama of Indian America, touring the United States, Canada, Ireland, Finland, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Rosalie Jones has created over 30 works centered within Indigenous cultural story and mythic image. In 1997 she was the first of native ancestry to receive the prestigious two-year NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship; the Daystar Archive was created in 2004 at University of California, Riverside to mark a formal recognition of her work as a “pioneer” of native modern dance. At Trent University’s Indigenous Studies Department she developed Indigenous performance courses in dance, music, mime/mask, storytelling and dance production. In 2011, Allegory of the Cranes was created to commemorate her 70-year marker of life, performing it at Nozhem: First People’s Performance Space, Ontario, Canada and at the Nazareth National Dance Festival and other venues in New York state. Rosalie Jones is a published author: the scripted dance-drama No Home But The Heart: An Assembly of Memories in Keepers of the Morning Star: An Anthology of Native Women’s Theater (UCLA, 2003); “Inventing Native Modern Dance: A Tough Trip Through Paradise” in Native American Performance and Representation (U of Arizona Press, 2009). Other publications are:  Jose Limon: Mentor to Native Youth for the CORD Journal, (2007), Cross-Cultural Alliances: Friend of Foe, with co-author Ned Bobkoff in Re-Envisioning Relationships: Cross-Cultural Alliances (2009) and Modern Native Dance: Beyond Tribe and Tradition in  Native American Dance: Ceremony and Social Traditions (1992). An unpublished concept paper “The Dreamed Imagination: The Four Lodge Ceremony” was one of the generating ideas for Allegory of the Cranes. Website: daystardance.com. Her return to UC Riverside marks the 10th anniversary of her 2004 donation of the Daystar Archive to the UC Riverside’s Special Collections Library. 

Jacqueline Shea Murphy chairs the Dance department at UC Riverside, where she teaches courses in critical dance studies and in Iyengar yoga. She is author of “The People Have Never Stopped Dancing”: Native American Modern Dance Histories (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), awarded the 2008 de la Torre Bueno Prize® for outstanding book of the year in Dance Studies by the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS), co-editor of the collection Bodies of the Text: Dance as Theory, Literature as Dance (Rutgers University Press, 1995), and a number of articles including a recent piece, “Manaakitanga in Motion: Indigenous Choreographies of Possibility,” co-written with Jack Gray and published in 2013 in Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly’s special issue on “Baleful Postcoloniality.” She was the 2009 recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to Aotearoa New Zealand, and is writing a new book that engages with contemporary Indigenous choreography/ers in the U.S., Canada, and Aotearoa (New Zealand). This project explores Indigenous choreography — and scholarly writing about dance making — as ways of inhabiting Indigenous epistemologies.

Rosy Simas is a contemporary choreographer based in Minneapolis. Her work addresses how ancestry, homeland, culture, and history are stored in the body and can be expressed through dance. Simas is Seneca. Her family is originally from the Cornplanter tract of the Allegany reservation in New York. Over the past 20 years, she has created more than 40 original works, which have been presented throughout Minneapolis/St. Paul. Her work has also been presented in Montréal, Vancouver, California, Wisconsin and New York. In 2013 she was awarded a Native Arts and Culture Foundation Dance Fellowship.

Elaine Talamaiveo teaches Polynesian dance and language at Tala Mai Moana Productions in Riverside.

Rulan Tangen is an internationally accomplished dance artist and choreographer. She is the Founding Artistic Director and choreographer of DANCING EARTH Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations, acknowledged as the first Dance Fellow for Artistic Innovation by Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and noted as “One of the Top 25 To Watch” by Dance Magazine. Rooted in cultural respect and diverse inter-tribalism, her vision for dance is at the avant garde experimental front of Native art expression in the USA, and is now being understood and recognized through awards, medals, academic invitations, and cultural honors. DANCING EARTH has been awarded the National Dance Project Production and Touring Grant, and the National Museum of American Indian’s Expressive Arts award.  Here at UCR, she is a recipient of the Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service by UC Riverside’s Costo Chair of Native Affairs. As performer and choreographer, Tangen has worked in ballet, modern dance, circus, TV, film, theater, opera and Native contemporary productions in the USA, Canada, France, Norway, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. She has taught extensively in Indigenous communities and universities across the Americas including Washington University as Visiting Distinguished Scholar, and Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts, where she led a course on creative response to “RACE AND ENVIRONMENT”.

Her choreography, created from Indigenous principles of collaboration rather than hierarchy, explores the de-colonization of theater premises and revitalizes Indigenous cultural practices. In building and touring her company, she recruits and cultivates a new generation of emerging Native multi-disciplinary artists.  Her company DANCING EARTH premiered its first work in Riverside at the Sherman Indian High School, as part of the 2004 Red Rhythms: Contemporary Methodologies in American Indian Dance conference; she has returned regularly since to teach workshops at UCR and in the local Native community. She returns this year to donate her Archive to the UCR Special Collections library.

Clifford Trafzer is Professor of His tory, Rupert Costo Chair, and Director of the California Center for Native Nations at the University of California, Riverside.  He has spent his life working with American Indian people and communities in the field of Native American Studies, Culture, Environment, and History.

Michael Philip Tsosie is an independent scholar at large and enrolled “trouble maker” of the Colorado River Indian Tribes in Parker, Arizona. Michael has taught at UC Riverside in the Ethnic Studies Department, and as Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Native Studies program at the University of Victoria.

Shannon Wray is a two-world’s person of Cherokee descent and Hollywood heritage who has been a media professional in publishing, film, and television for more than 30 years. She is currently engaged in the development of a center for the professional and market development of Indigenous performance and media arts.

Poster design: Kathleen DeAtley