Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside

November 2, 2016
Open to the public

Department of Dance Logo

Sponsored by the UCR Department of Dance

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

Assistant Coordinator: Eva Lopez

The Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside (ICR) project is an annual event that brings Indigenous dance artists and Indigenous studies scholars to campus to connect, discuss, and share work. We look at ways Indigenous dance, in many diverse forms and locations, engages Indigenous knowledges, and at the import of these articulations in the context of ongoing coloniality. 

This year, the ICR project brings Indigenous dance artists and Indigenous studies scholars together to address Webs of Support for Indigenous Dance/Inside and Outside of Institutions. Topics to be discussed at this all-day conference include: how the academy and institutions support – or obstruct – possibilities for the thriving of Indigenous dance; and what parallel, alternative, and/or counter-hegemonic practices and responses are taking place outside of these institutions to support Indigenous dance. The conference includes a tribute and panel centered around critical perspectives on Native dance in California, including that discussed in a manuscript on Mohave bird singing that the late Michael Tsosie shared at last year’s ICR. It concludes with an evening performance featuring new choreography.

Dance artists participating in this year’s gathering include: Daystar/Rosalie Jones (Daystar: Contemporary Dance-Drama of Indian America); Rosy Simas (Rosy Simas Danse); Rulan Tangen and Anne Pesata (DANCING EARTH Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations); Emily Johnson (Emily Johnson/Catalyst); Louise Potiki Bryant (Aotearoa/New Zealand); David Smith (Pomo Dance Captain); Alejandro Ronceria (Canada); Jack Gray (Aotearoa/New Zealand and NYU); Kim Marcus (Cahuilla/Serrano Dance leader).

Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside is presented by the UCR Department of Dance with additional support provided by the Culver Center of the Arts, the UCR Center for Ideas and Society, Humanities Research Institute, the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the City of Riverside, the California Center for Native Nations, the Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs, Departments of Dance and Ethnic Studies.

Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside (ICR) Schedule 

Wednesday, Nov. 2 


8:45-9:15: Conference Registration/coffee 

9:15-9:40 – Welcome: Jacqueline Shea Murphy (UCR Professor and ICR director), Gerald Clarke (UCR Professor and Cahuilla leader), Kim Marcus (Cahuilla/Serrano Ceremonial Leader), Milagros Peña (Dean, CHASS), Anthea Kraut (Chair, Department of Dance); Tyler Stallings (Artistic Director, Culver Center of the Arts).

9:45-10:30:  Movements, actions, possibilities, futurities. Participatory workshop led by Emily Johnson (Culver Atrium)


10:45-12:15   Seminar 1:  Indigenous Dance Inside and outside of Institutions: What is needed? Problems and Possibilities (Hammond Studio)
Facilitator: Julie Burelle (UCSD-Theater) Karyn Recollet (University of Toronto) Rosy Simas (Rosy Simas Danse) Tria Blu Wakpa (UC Berkeley) Neil MacLean (Ohlone Profiles) Rulan Tangen (DANCING EARTH) Jack Gray (New Zealand/NYU)

12:15-1:00: Lunch (Hammond Studio)


1:00-3:00: Seminar 2: Indigenous Dance and Institutional Support:  What is happening? Continuities, Innovations, Structures
Facilitator: Maile Arvin (UCR-Ethnic Studies; Hawai’i)
Maria Firmino Castillo (CIIS; Guatemala) Daystar/Rosalie Jones (Trent University, Canada) Rachel Fensham (University of Melbourne, Australia) Louise Potiki Bryant (New Zealand) Lisa Wymore (UC Berkeley, US) Tyler Stallings  (Culver Center of the Arts, US) Alejandro Roncería (choreographer, Canada)

3:00-3:10:  Coffee break   


3:10-4:10:  Performative tribute to the late Michael Tsosie, led by Rulan Tangen and Anne Pesata (Brithinee studio/Atrium/Screening room)
Including Cahuilla Bird Singing 

4:10-6:00:  Roundtable:  Physicalized Intelligence and California Indian Dance:  Provocations, Politics, Possibilities (Honoring the work and wit of Michael Tsosie) (Culver screening room)
Facilitator: Mark Minch (UCR-Indigenous Studies/English) Cutcha Rising Baldy (San Diego State) Gerald Clarke (UCR, Indigenous Studies/Ethnic Studies) David Smith (Pomo Dance Captain) Bernadette Smith (Pomo Dancer) Lala Andreas (Cahuilla Bird Song Dancer) Kim Marcus (Cahuilla/Serrano Ceremonial Leader)


8-9:30:  Culver Center Atrium
Daystar/Rosalie Jones, “Dancing the Four Directions”
Rosy Simas Danse, Skin(s)

Response panel:
Facilitator: Jacqueline Shea Murphy (UCR, Dance)
Michelle Raheja (UCR, English; Director, California Center for Native Nations)
Mishuana Goeman (UCLA, Gender Studies)
taisha paggett (UCR, Dance)
Louise Potiki Bryant (New Zealand)
Rachel Fensham (Australia)
Alejandro Roncería (Canada)
Ananya Chatterjea (University of Minnesota)

Acknowledgments:  Thanks to Tyler Stallings (Artistic Director, Culver Center for the Arts), Katharine Henshaw, Renee DeGuire, Jessica Mae DeFilippo (Center for Ideas and Society); Katherine Dorff  (UCR ARTSblock Event Manager); Kathy DeAtley, Katrina Oskie, Reasey Heang, Greg Renne, Cindy Redfield (UCR Performing Arts Administration); Eva Lopez, Cuauhtemoc Peranda, Daisy Ocampo, Sophia Levine, Chrissy Sahin, Dava Hernandez (UCR Graduate Students); Maile Arvin (UCR Ethnic Studies); the UCR Dance department; CHASS Dean Milagros Peña; Lorene Sisquoc (Sherman Indian High School);  Josh Gonzales (Director, Native American Student Programs); Michelle Raheja (CCNN Director): Cliff Trafzer (Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs); Dåkot-ta Alcantara-Camacho (scribe), Shannon Wray. Special thanks to Maryetta Patch for your support.


Dåkot-ta Alcantara-Camacho:  Born in Snohomish Territory (Everett, WA) and raised in Tscha-kole-chy (Whidbey Island, WA), Dåkot-ta’s lineage is Taotao Tomhom, Manggåffan Che’, Taotao Mongmong Manggåffan Eggeng (Guåhan) and Vigan, Ilokos Sur. Dåkot-ta attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a First Wave Hip Hop Scholar, in Gender and Women’s Studies (with a concentration in Chamoru Studies). Dåkot-ta also studied at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and graduated with a Masters in Performance Studies. Advocating for the revitalization of the Lukao Fuha tradition, Dåkot-ta organized Lukao Fuha Pina’ok Tånon Duwamish in 2014, and Lukao Fuha Pina’ok Lenapehoking 2015/16, establishing sacred relationships between Chamorro and Coast Salish/Mattinecock/Lunaape indigenous communities. Dåkot-ta’s solo show ‘Guåhu Guåhan’ was performed at Line Breaks Hip Hop Theater Festival 2015 and the Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside Project in California. Dåkot-ta produced ‘Ancestors Reflections’ a multi-media ritual performance installation at GAX (Guam Art Exhibit), Dåkot-ta is a member of I Fanlalai’an Oral History Project, representing Guåhan at T he Festival of Pacific Arts in 2012 and 2016, premiering the Matao New Performance Project “FANHASSO”. 

Paula Andreas is a Cahuilla native of southern California.  She is a direct descendent of the Pai’nik tem clan or “People of the Dawn’, whom made their home in the beautiful canyons of south Palm Springs, namely “Andreas Canyon” and she is a member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians also located in Palm Springs, California.  Paula, or Lala, is active within her culture participating in Bird dances, basket weaving and Cahuilla language classes, and making gourd rattles. She was a lead dancer with the “Cahuilla Bird Dancers and Singers” which was the first group of its kind to perform these cultural songs and dances. As a volunteer at and a board member of the Malki Museum on the Morongo Indian Reservation in Banning, California she has organized “Bird Dance” events for the past two years and is assisting in the organization and implementation of a Native American Research Library.   She was a major contributor and advisor on the “We Are Birds” documentary and is also advising and narrating on a documentary about the Malki Museum.  She also assisted as an advisor on the “Cahuilla Tewanet” project which is located in the Santa Rosa Mountains.

Maile Arvin is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is a Native Hawaiian feminist scholar who writes about settler colonialism, decolonization, and race, gender and science in Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific. She earned her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego in 2013. She is a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Charles Eastman Fellow (Dartmouth College), and Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow. Her work has been published in the journals American Quarterly, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, The Scholar & Feminist, and Feminist Formations.

Tria Blu Wakpa is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Ethnic Studies Department at UC Berkeley and a graduate of the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at San Diego State University. Her dissertation, Native American Embodiment in Educational and Carceral Settings: Fixing, Eclipsing, and Liberating, investigates the relationships among educational and embodied programming at two institutions located on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota: St Francis Mission School, a former on-reservation boarding school (1886-1972), and Wanbli Wiconi Tipi (Eagle Life Home), the tribal juvenile hall founded in 2005. Tria demonstrates how the mission school and the detention center have articulated almost identical goals: to produce loyal, productive citizens of high character through educational programming. Tria has published peer-reviewed articles in The American Indian Culture and Research Journal and Dance Research Journal and served as a guest-editor for As Us Journal and The American Indian Culture and Research Journal in issues that feature writing by people who are incarcerated. She is a founder of the Race and Yoga Working Group, Race and Yoga Conference, and Race and Yoga journal. Tria is grateful to have received support and recognition from numerous sources for her scholarly, creative, and embodied work.

Louise Potiki Bryant is a choreographer, dancer, and video artist of Māori descent who has choreographed for companies such as Atamira Dance Company, Black Grace Dance Company and The New Zealand Dance Company.  As a founding member for Atamira, Louise has choreographed six works, including NGAI TAHU 32 (‘Best contemporary dance production 2004’, NZ Listener).  Louise was recently awarded the Harriet Friedlander Residency by The Arts Foundation of New Zealand, an award which supports Louise to live in New York City for a period of choreographic inspiration. She has a long-running collaboration with researcher Prof Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, with whom she began the development of the somatic/dance practice called Whakaahua Dance. In 2014, Louise was the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance at the University of Otago, where she continued to develop the Whakaahua dance practice. Louise now leads Whakaahua Dance workshops nationally and internationally. Louise also has a strong body of solo and collaborative works, which draw upon her interdisciplinary and whakaahua practice, including NOHOPUKU (‘Stand–out Performer’, the Dunedin Fringe Festival 2010), TUMUTUMU, a collaboration with taonga puoro authority Dr Richard Nunns, and the highly acclaimed collaborative performance work KIRI, with clay artist Paerau Corneal.

Julie Burelle is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego situated on Kumeyaay traditional territory. Originally from Montreal, her research focuses on First Nations theatre and performance in the particular context of Quebec, Canada. Her work has been published in TDR: The Drama Review, Dance Research Journal, TheatreForum, Theatre Annual, and in Theatres of Affect edited by Erin Hurley. Julie also works as a dramaturg for new plays, dance-theatre pieces, and documentary films. She is currently writing her first book provisionally entitled Encounters on Contested Lands: First Nations Performances of Sovereignty and Nationhood in Quebec.

Ananya Chatterjea, Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre (www.ananyadancetheatre.org), makes “People Powered Dances of Transformation” intersecting women artists of color artists and social justice choreography. Ananya is the recipient of a 2012 McKnight Choreography Fellowship and a 2011 Guggenheim Choreography Fellowship. Ananya is Professor of Dance at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches courses on Dance Studies and contemporary technique.

Gerald Clarke is an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians and currently lives on the Cahuilla Indian reservation. When not creating artwork or serving as Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, Gerald assists in running the Clarke family cattle ranch and remains heavily involved in Cahuilla culture. He is also is a frequent lecturer, speaking about Native art, culture and issues. In 2006 he was elected as Vice Chairman to the Cahuilla Tribal Council and spent six years working on local, state and federal issues affecting the tribe. When not working, Clarke participates in Bird Singing, a traditional form of singing that tells thecosmology of the Cahuilla people.

Rachel Fensham is the Associate Dean, Digital Studio at the University of Melbourne, and has been Head of School of Culture and Communication for the last four years, a large interdisciplinary program that includes Australian Indigenous Studies. Her research engages with the politics and aesthetics of performance history in the twenty and twenty-first century. Using theories of corporeality and spectatorship, she has written on intercultural dance and black aesthetics, and is now leading several digital humanities projects that involve partnerships with collections in museums and galleries, in the US, Australia and the UK. Articles have been published in “Scene”, the “Journal of Design History”, and “Dance Research Journal” while book publications include “To Watch Theatre” (2009) and “Dancing Naturally” (2011). With Peter Boenisch, she is the series co-editor of “New World Choreographies” (Palgrave): http://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/14729.

María Regina Firmino-Castillo: Born in Guatemala, I’m less Latinx, and more ex-Latina, though some may call me Mestiza. Though I was raised far from where my umbilical chord is buried, I returned — perhaps searching for it — to work on community-based projects that research and share ancestral knowledge and ways of being through theater, dance, and other creative processes. I also collaborated with my husband, Ixil artist Tohil Fidel Brito, and others in his community, on the construction of a monument in the Western highlands of Guatemala dedicated to Maya midwives and calendar keepers who have survived persecution for almost five centuries. In México, we coordinated a community-based research and performance project focused on the recovery of a desecrated ceremonial site in a Mayan community in Yucatán. To understand the forces behind the attempted destruction of this knowledge and lifeways, I’ve produced video works on state violence, the post-war era in Guatemala, and Maya youth migration from Guatemala. Synthesizing these distinct areas of inquiry, I am writing a doctoral dissertation on Indigenous performative practices in Mesoamerica as regenerative responses to the ongoing genocidal, ecocidal, and ontological violence of imperialism in Mesoamerica, its diaspora, and other places with similar histories.  

Mishuana Goeman, Tonawanda Band of Seneca, is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Gender Studies Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her recent book is Mark My Words: Native Women Mapping Our Nations (University of Minnesota Press). She has published in several peer-reviewed journals and guest edited journal volumes on Native Feminisms and on Indigenous Performances. Recent book chapters include essays in Theorizing Native Studies, eds. Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith, (Duke University Press, 2014) and a chapter in Critically Sovereign: Indigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, ed. Joanne Barker, Duke University Press, coming in 2017. She is also a Co-PI on a community based digital project grant, Mapping Indigenous L.A.

Jack Gray (Ngati Porou/Te Rarawa) founded Atamira Dance Collective (a platform for Maori contemporary dance artists), was awarded Te Whakahaungia Maori Choreographic Commission (Te Waka Toi), Asia-Pacific Young Choreographers Project in Taiwan, Generation Project and Dance Platform. Jack travelled with Atamira to the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Australia, the U.S (Hawaii, San Francisco, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival) in “Ngai Tahu 32”, “Memoirs of Active Service”, “Whakairo”, “Taonga”, “Kaha” and “Te Houhi”. Jack won an A.M.P Scholarship to work with Dancing Earth (New Mexico), the Bishop Museum (Hawaii), the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Riverside, New York University, Catalyst Theater (New York), International Interdisciplinary Artists Consortium (Earthdance), California Institute of Integral Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Bandelion Theater (San Francisco), Kaha:wi Dance Theater (Canada), Matao New Performance Project (Guåhan) and Illinois State University. Jack facilitates Indigenous performance gatherings including; Cultural Informance Lab (San Francisco), Lenapehoking Transformance Lab (New York), Bay Area Transformance Lab (San Francisco), Indigenous Dance Forum (New York), Wānanga: #TranscribingSpaces (Atamira), Tongva: #Transcribing Spaces (U.C.L.A), Ruatepupuke: #Transcribing Spaces (The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois). Jack was 2016 Spring Artist in Residence and Research Scholar at Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University.

Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. A Bessie Award winning choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow, she is based in Minneapolis and New York City. Originally from Alaska, she is of Yup’ik descent and since 1998 has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment—interacting with a place’s architecture, history, and role in community. Emily received a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and her work is supported by Creative Capital, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Map Fund, a Joyce Award, the McKnight Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and The Doris Duke Residency to Build Demand for the Arts. Emily is a current Mellon Choreography Fellow at Williams College and was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, 2013 – 2015. Her new work, Then Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars is an all night, outdoor performance gathering. It will premiere in 2017 and tour to Williamstown, MA; New York City; San Francisco; Chicago; and Melbourne, Australia.

DAYSTAR/Rosalie Jones (Little Shell Chippewa) specializes in “native modern dance” as seen through the perspective of ancestry, cultural values and a lifetime of experience in North American Indigenous dance and music. She is recognized as a “pioneer” in the field.  Rosalie Jones founded her company in 1980: Daystar Contemporary Dance Drama of Indian America; in 2016 she received from IAIA its first annual Lifetime Achievement Award. She teaches Indigenous Performance Studies at Trent University, Ontario.

Neil MacLean is a San Francisco-based activist who has helped launch and run the Ohlone Profiles project. (http://ohloneprofiles.org) Since 2008, MacLean’s activism has been a collaboration with Mary Jean Robertson, Cherokee, in support of: Indian Canyon Nation, the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe, Pajara Valley Ohlone Indian Council, Central Valley Miwok, Manchester Pomo, and others. Our goal has been to support Ohlone culture in San Francisco. Outcomes include Ohlone presence in three major festivals, reports on television and in the newspaper, engagement with City Hall, raising awareness of sacred sites, and support for tribal ceremonies and dance. Neil’s first work protecting Ohlone burial sites began in 1992 after returning from the 500 Years of Resistance Celebration in Xela, Guatemala. Previously, Neil taught California History and Media Studies at New College, founded the Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Prophets Project, and worked at California Prison Focus with maximum security prisoners. 

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.

Mark Minch is an enrolled member of the Susanville Indian Rancheria and assistant professor of Indigenous Studies in the Department of English at UC Riverside. He is currently participating in a year-long Mellon Sawyer seminar at Tufts University titled, “Comparative Global Humanities: Violence, Colonialisms, and the Conditions for the Human,” and recently held a postdoctoral fellowship in Native American Studies at Wesleyan University. He earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley with a designated emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and his areas of research and teaching include critical Native American and Indigenous theories; the politics of cultural revitalization; violence, representation, and performativity; multi mediation and the archive; and the decolonization of knowledge and cultural production. 

taisha paggett is a Southern California-based interdisciplinary dance artist whose individual and collaborative works for the stage, gallery and public space take up questions of the body, agency, and the phenomenology of race. paggett’s work seeks to de-center and reframe certain Western choreographic conventions and the ways in which bodies and spaces become normalized in both dance practices and the actions of daily life, by colliding them with socio-political metaphors and meaning. More specifically, paggett’s work interrogates fixed notions and representations of Black and queer bodies through the construction of idiosyncratic structures and scores in which those subjects also become agents, including her recent large-scale collaborative project, School for the Movement of the Technicolor People. paggett’s work has been presented by the Whitney Museum in NYC (as part of the 2014 Biennial), the Doris McCarthy Gallery in Toronto and Diverseworks in Houston, and has been support by the MAP Fund (in conjunction with LACE), National Performance Network, and Clockshop, amongst other local and international institutions and agencies. paggett currently dances for Meg Wolfe and maintains an ongoing collaborative project, On movement, thought and politics, with visual artist Ashley Hunt. paggett is a proud faculty member of UCR’s department of Dance.

Anne Pesata is Jicarilla Apache from Dulce, New Mexico. She attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado while raising her young son. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. She has since moved back home to the Jicarilla Apache Reservation because she feels the need to enact positive change in her community. She currently works as a Community Health Representative spearheading a variety of different programs to serve the community. As a dancer without studio training, Anne’s movement comes from deep indigenous roots. She approaches the collaborative, creative, and cultural processes in a way that is central to Dancing Earth’s core qualities of activated spine, tangible breath, grounded legs, and evocative arm movements that recall ancient sign language that has been a force of expression across this land for centuries. With muscular power, she embodies a compelling inner and outer world, making evident her life as a cultural woman and hours of training in canyons and riverbeds through Dancing Earth’s intense Summer Institutes for which she has been selected for five consecutive years amongst international indigenous candidates.

Michelle Raheja is associate professor of English at the University of California, Riverside and Director of the California Center for Native Nations (CCNN).

Karyn Recollet Karyn Recollet is an Assistant professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto.  Karyn is an urban Cree whose research explores the various intersections of Indigenous artistic activations rooted in the multiple layered Indigenous territories that are urban spaces. Karyn’s focal points are choreographic fugitivity, Indigenous futurities, and decolonial love.  

Cutcha Rising Baldy is currently an Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at San Diego State University. Her research is focused on American Indian Studies, gender and decolonization. She received her Ph.D. in Native American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research from the University of California, Davis and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Literary Research from San Diego State University. She also has her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University. She has published in the Ecological Processes Journal, the Wicazo Sa Review, and the Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society journal. She has also published creative writing in the As/Us journal and News from Native California. Her first book is under advanced contract with the University of Washington Press. She is the author of a popular blog that explores issues of social justice, history and California Indian politics and culture.  www.cutcharislingbaldy.com/blog

Alejandro Ronceria is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning director, choreographer, and producer based in Canada. He has created and produced large – scale productions nationally and internationally, including the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Colombia. Ronceria is the co-founder/founding artistic director of the first Aboriginal Dance Program in North America at The Banff Center for the Arts. He was one of the pioneers of dancefilm as a unique medium in Canada. Ronceria’s credits include: choreographer for the official opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a live event aired on ten international broadcast channels in a total of 11 languages– the most watched Canadian television event in history with 23 million viewers. In the USA, there were 32.6 million viewers, thus the second-most watched non-American Winter Olympics and 3.5 billion viewers worldwide. Other credits include: Nunavut Opening Gala (Nunavut), Spirits in the Sun: First Canadian Indigenous Arts Festival (Phoenix) The Aboriginal Achievement Awards (Calgary). Ronceria has been awarded numerous Canada Council for the Arts awards and served on juries for dance. In 2010, Ronceria was the first recipient to graduate with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from York University in Dance Dramaturgy and is the first to hold this degree from a Canadian university.

Jacqueline Shea Murphy, ICR Director, is associate professor in 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 over a decade, she has been following the work of Native American and Indigenous choreographers in the U.S., Canada, and — as a Fulbright Senior Scholar – in Aotearoa (New Zealand). She has published on the topic in journals including Discourses in Dance, Theatre Research International, Interventions, Biography, and most recently, in a special issue of Dance Research Journal she edited, on “Indigenous Dance Today” (April, 2016). She has helped bring Indigenous dance studies into visibility to dance scholars and to the public through these writings, lectures and teaching, and also by organizing and producing numerous showcases, panels, and symposia on Indigenous choreography, including at regular “Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside” events. She spent last year in Berlin, Germany, working on a new book about Indigenous choreography while on a research fellowship at the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures” at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Rosy Simas is an enrolled Seneca from the Heron clan. She is a Minneapolis based interdisciplinary dance maker. For more than 20 years she has created work dealing with a wide range of political, social and cultural subject matter from a Native feminist perspective.  Simas is a 2015 Guggenheim fellow, and a 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation fellow, a 2016 McKnight Choreography fellow, and a 2016 First Peoples Fund fellow. Her work is supported nationally by NEFA National Dance Project (2014, 2016), National Presenters Network (2015), and regionally by the Minnesota State Arts Board (2014, 2016) and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (2014).

Bernadette Antoinette Smith is half coastal Pomo and half Chicana. She is an accomplished Pomo dancer beginning when she was 3 years old and has been a Pomo singer since she was 15. This year she revived her tribe’s acorn harvest ceremony including gaining access to a traditional gathering site, currently on an Air Force Base and Bernadette is working to obtain permanent access and possibly a long term lease bringing the tribe a new base of sustainability and strength. Bernadette teaches folkloric dancing and through it connects the Hispanic and Pomo communities bringing pride to each. In 2016, she is running for tribal secretary of the Manchester Pomo Tribe. 

David Smith was born into the Kashia Pomo and at 7 became a childhood student and later lead singer and dancer for Essie Parrish, one of California’s most renowned Native American healers during the 20th century. As a member of the Kashia and Manchester Pomo bands, David had personal experience of the ceremonial roundhouse before Christianization and directly experienced the conversion to Mormanism of many Kashia tribal members and its effects on the culture. David was a close friend of Richard Oaks, the spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes on Alcatraz. Though Richard was tragically killed in the 1970s, David remains a friend of Richard’s Kashia family up to the present day. David is a lifelong Pomo cultural worker, having 4 Pomo grand parents a father who was a clown dancer and a ‘to-to’ dancer for the Point Arena Pomo.’ David began singing at 7 years old and now is a 67 year old elder who has 8 daughters 4 or 6 of whom are Pomo singers. David is the rock man for the Manchester feather dancers. In 1969 David organized students at Santa Rosa Community College to join the occupation of Alcatraz and himself joined the occupation and was among the first occupiers. After Alcatraz David helped lead one of the successful land occupations, Ya Ka Ama, in Forestville Ca. where 150 acres were occupied and became the only permanent land base for ‘Indians of All Tribes.’  David continues to be the Master of Ceremonies for the ‘Day Under the Oaks’ at Santa Rosa Community College. The gathering is in its 33rd year and is the largest annual gathering of Pomo people at 1,000. David is a person who recently described himself as the last practitioner of the Kuksu religion.

Tyler Stallings is the UCR ARTSblock interim executive director at University of California, Riverside. He has also been the artistic director for the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts and Director of the Jack and Marilyn Sweeney Art Gallery since December 2006. Prior to his position at UCR, he was chief curator at Laguna Art Museum. His curatorial projects focus on contemporary art, with a special emphasis on the exploration of identity, technology, photo-based work, and urban culture, such as Mundos Alternos: Art & Science Fiction in the Americas, a Getty Foundation PST sponsored exhibition, forthcoming in 2017. He has also curated Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration (2013), Lewis deSoto & Erin Neff: Tahquitz (2012), Margarita Cabrera: Puslo y Martillo (Pulse and Hammer) (2011), Mapping the Desert/Deserting the Map: An Interdisciplinary Response (2009), and Whiteness, A Wayward Construction (2003). Along with being a columnist for KCET-TV, his most recent book, Aridtopia: Essays on Art & Culture from Deserts in the Southwest United States, is a literary mirage that fuses present day reality and a future imaginary, which repositions our view of the world from that of the desert. For more information, http://artsblock.ucr.edu and http://tylerstallings.com

Rulan Tangen’s dance journey centers around the founding of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS (DE) in 2004, after several decades of an international professional dance career in ballet, modern, powwow, opera, film and television.  Surviving cancer to discover her leadership purpose, DE provides hope and opportunity by cultivating a new generation of Native dancers through creative practice that explores intertribal diversity. Their performances are rooted in ecological themes guided by Native elders, touring to 15 states and 6 countries so far. Tangen’s teaching credentials include Washington University’s Visiting Distinguished Scholar; guest artist instructor at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts for “RACE AND ENVIRONMENT”; Native Wellness Institute Leadership Academy; residencies at UC Riverside, Santa Fe Art Institute, Ft Lewis College, and ASU. Her honors include the 2015 Arts & Social Change Award from the Arts and Healing network, A Blade of Grass fellowship, top ten finalist across disciplines for Nathan Cummings Fellowship for Social Change, first dance fellowship for Artistic Innovation by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service by UC Riverside’s Chair of Native Affairs, Dance Magazine’s pick as one of “25 To Watch”, and New Mexico School for the Arts‘ Community Arts Leadership award.

Lisa Wymore is the Chair of the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. She teaches classes in choreography, dance technique, pedagogy, improvisation, and performance. Professor Wymore is Co-Artistic Director of Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts with Sheldon B. Smith. The company creates multimedia dance theater works and experimental performances. Their work has been presented and hosted by numerous national and international festivals. In 2005, Professor Wymore started a multi-disciplinary project called The Resonance Project, which has evolved into the Z-Lab UC Berkeley – a site for interactive real-time collaboration. This project involves choreographers, computer engineers, and visual/sound artists who are investigating presence/co-presence and corporeal and interactivity within live and media based performance. Wymore is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst from the Integrated Movement Studies program. She regularly teaches workshops and classes in this system. She is one of the Co-Founders of the Townsend Center Dance Studies Working Group. For the past three years, she has been honored to be an organizer of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration in the Bancroft Studio at UC Berkeley – a daylong series of events, performances, talks, and participatory activities honoring California Native Americans and Indigenous peoples from around the world.

Poster design: Kathleen DeAtley