500 Years of Resistance Presented By: Dancing Earth Creations and Cuicacalli Dance Company


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Dancing Earth Creations in collaboration with Cuicacalli Dance Company are proud to present “500 Years of Resistance” Festival at the newly renovated Brava Theater in the Mission District in San Francisco on Dec 1-2, 2017 . The Festival celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Cuicacalli Danza, the associate year round training program of Dancing Earth.

Two different programs will be presented from December 1-2, 2017 :

  • The Opening Night concert on December 1st will focus on contemporary Indigenous choreographies with themes of; honoring of Native land and water rights  and honoring of treaties,  the renewal of ancestral ties though memory and dreaming; the spiritual, cultural and practical exploration of notions of Renewable Energy; diasporic resilience and resistance in solidarity with all struggles and commonality of people of color; and resistance prayers and  protests tied to local issues advised by our California First Nations consultants.
  • The Closing Night concert on December 2nd features brilliant full  scale production of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano by Cuicacalli Dance Company, as created and directed by Jesús “JACOH” Cortés, former soloist with Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, as well as select contemporary Indigenous choreographies

    (Cuicacalli Dance Company Performance Photo by Robbie Sweeny)

The programs will be featuring Dancing Earth’s collaborating Indigenous performing artists, Cuicacalli professional danzantes and advanced apprentices, special  guest artists, and our honored cultural artist ambassadors of local California First Nations including Ohlone, Pomo and Wappo.

This festival is made possible by San Francisco Arts Commission grants, in-kind support from Dance Mission and Brava Theater, and the immeasurable cultural legacy of our Indigenous cultural consultants and collaborators.

(Cuicacalli Dance Company Performance Photo by Robbie Sweeny)

Calendar Listing:

WHO:   Dancing Earth,  Cuicacalli Dance Company and guest artists including local California       First Nations honored representatives

WHAT:   “500 Years of Resistance” Festival

WHEN:   Program A, Dec. 1 , 2017 ; Program B Dec.  2, 2017

TIME:   7 pm

WHERE:    Brava Theater, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

WEBSITE:   https://www.brava.org/visit

WHY:   On the days following Native history month— and the national holiday   known as Thanksgiving by some, but known as ThanksTaking by many– we reclaim  the mythology on which this holiday has been imagined with vital and compelling truths of Indigenous survival and resilience of the original peoples of , as well as inter-tribal and Indigenous people who have made the Bay Area their home.

We honor and embody local and hemispheric resistance efforts protecting Indigenous eco-cultural rights to exist, with vibrant rituals of contemporary Indigenous dance that celebrates our continuance, and welcomes community to gather in solidarity and unity.

Ticket Details:

$30 – General Tickets

$25 – Advance Tickets

$20 – for Students with ID, seniors, and youth under 10 yrs old

*Ticket covers cost of Performance and helps support scholarships for deserving low income students of Cuicacalli Dance Company

Tickets are available after October 15 at https://www.brava.org/ or call 415-641-7657

Website: www.dancingearth.org

About “ 500 Years Of Resistance “

INTENTION: To offer dances as vital contemporary  rituals for transformation that  heighten awareness and understanding of Indigenous presence and issues for our extended Bay Area community. At this important time in history, Native people are being recognized as the leaders of the ecological movement by bringing spiritual, cultural and creative resonance,  connecting all living beings.

INSPIRATION: We honor the rich heritage of California First Nations’ songs and dances that have kept the land, waters, and all living beings in balance and harmony until colonial times. We are energized by the history of inter-tribal solidarity such as the 1970s takeover of Alcatraz, commemorated annually with gatherings on Indigenous Peoples Day and Thanks(Taking) Day, with this performance falling just after that national holiday. Rich source material emerges from consultation with inter-tribal elders, culture carriers, and activists, as well as individual Indigenous artists bringing their unique cultural perspective to the collaborative creative process in a shimmering mosaic of historical and ancestral memory, imagined futurities, and embodied present.

CREATIVE PROCESS: Dancing Earth works closely with Indigenous collaborators and inter-tribal elders and consultants including representatives of regional California First Nations with creative explorations in seasonal intensives at indoor and outdoor locations,  activating the inner and outer landscapes in a process  described by Dancing Earth’s Founding Director and Choreographer, Rulan Tangen, as “Re-Story-ing”

About Dancing Earth and Director Rulan Tangen:

(On Photo: Rulan Tangen, Dancing Earth Images)

DIRECTOR BIO: RULAN TANGEN (Director, Choreographer, Dancer) is an internationally accomplished dance artist and the Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer of DANCING EARTH. As a performer and choreographer, she has worked in ballet, modern dance, circus, TV, film, theater, opera and Native contemporary productions in the United States, Canada, France, Norway, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Her work values movement as an expression of Indigenous worldview,  honoring  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.”

Rulan has been recognized with:

  • Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service by UC Riverside’s Chair of Native Affairs
  • Native Arts and Cultures Foundation for their first dance Fellowship for Artistic Innovation
  • Top ten finalist across all disciplines for Nathan Cummings Fellowship for Social ChangeArts and Healing Network’s Arts for Social Change Award
  • A Blade Of Grass fellowship for socially engaged art
  • Nomination for Action in Film award

In April 2018, she is honored to be a recipient  of the Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award.

(On Photo: Rulan Tangen, Dancing Earth Images)


DANCING EARTH (DE) debuted at Dance Mission in 2004 and has emerged as a unique force in the dance world. DE’s work gathers inter-tribal collaborators to re-envision contemporary dance, embodying Indigenous ecological philosophies with renewed relevance as evidenced by extensive national and international touring invitations.

Director Tangen’s founding vision for DE is to serve a need not met in the United States, giving hope and opportunity to Native talent who are outside of mainstream performance because of lack of access and resources. As Native dancers, composers, customers, filmmakers, and spoken word artists, we challenge notions of what comprises a professional artist, the role of the audience, and the boundaries and purpose of performance. Our tribal values honor dance and songs as essential ritual for transformation which we expand to socio-environmental change. Reviewer T. Hassett  describes Dancing Earth as having “Taken the beauty, power, and wit of that sensibility further, combining powwow, ballet, modern dance, circus arts, capoeira, and b-boying into something acutely mythological.”

We are one of few companies who work with Native communities in gymnasiums and open spaces for people who may have never seen theatrical dance as well as in festivals in Opera houses for audiences who have never met a Native person. We also serve our circles with extensive local and national dance instruction, engagement workshops, and community-made art.

We dance the rich diversity of our contemporary heritage with the intent to promote ecological awareness, cultural diversity, healing and understanding between peoples. Our aesthetic embodies the spirituality inherent on Earth, and is created by, with, and for the land and the peoples of the land.

Recognition include:

  • Medallions from the US Embassy for Cultural Ambassadorship
  • National Museum of American Indian’s Expressive Arts Award
  • Mention as one of ”25 To Watch” by Dance Magazine
  • National Dance Project’s Production and Touring awards in 2009 and 2016
  • MAP FUND award for GROUNDWORKS, a project to debut in Bay Area in 2018

DE evokes critical review such as that found in Santa Fe’s THE magazine: “The visionary note easily persists in the accomplished miracles of speed, agility, grace, and sensuality that articulate … Rulan Tangen’s extraordinary choreography.”

(Dancing Earth Images)

About Cuicacalli Compania and Director Jesus Jacoh Cortes

DIRECTOR BIO: Jesús “JACOH” Cortés, began his training in Mexican folk dance when he was 6 years old under the direction of his great uncle, Juan Natoli. In 2000, he started dancing with Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City after he was trained as a Deer Dancer under the direction of Lucas Zarate Lobato. He was a soloist in the role of The Deer Dance “La Danza Del Venado” for Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, and has toured Mexico, Europe and the United States. He was the company choreographer and lead teacher for Los Niños de Santa Fe y Compañia. In addition to performance, he has also taught hundreds of elementary school children as part of the Arts in the Schools program in Española, New Mexico.

Currently, Jacoh lives in San Francisco and works as an artist in residence with the SFUSD and Brava Theater. He is founder and Artistic Director of Cuicacalli (meaning House of Culture in Nahuatl dialect), and is a lead teacher and choreographer for Dancing Earth. In the Bay he has been a Guest Artist/Instructor/Choreographer/Consultant with initiatives including San Francisco Symphony,  Printz Dance Project, ALICE (Arts and Literacy in Children’s Education) program, “Burning Libraries,” Mystical Abyss, Sonoma Ballet, and  Ballet Folklorico de Stanford University. His Cuicacalli Escuela and Dance Company, has been presented by D.I.R.T. Festival, Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers, Baile en la Calle, SF Son Jaroche, Cuba Caribe and CARNAVAL.

Notable recognition:

  • Director/Choreographer Cortes and Music Director Ariana Cortes led students who were selected as the only youth group ever to place in professional level as Carnaval second place winners!
  • Recognition of Sr Cortes’ version of ‘Danza Del Venado with an  acclaimed IZZY award.
  • Sr Cortes was recognized with Dream Catcher award for excellence in the arts by SF School District in 2017.


CUICACALLI “House of Culture” is a year-round youth training program, in association with DANCING EARTH, the nation’s foremost Indigenous contemporary dance ensemble.  Founded in 2008 by renowned international performer Jesus “Jacoh” Cortes, CUICACALLI is an international, cross-cultural, dance-arts educational institution.

CUICACALLI carries strongly its mission to serve the diverse community of San Francisco with dedication towards excellent instruction, performances and community programs, for intergenerational students, artists and audiences of all backgrounds. CUICACALLI builds communities through dance- expanding, exploring, and celebrating the cultural traditions of the Americas. Self expression, confidence enthusiasm, discipline, focus, cooperation, teamwork and positive attitude are amongst the life qualities encouraged in all CUICACALLI classes. The offering of versatile dance styles give students a well-rounded curriculum of body awareness, movement dynamics, strength, flexibility, spatial composition, and the appreciation for the vibrant cultural rhythms that are the pulse of Latino/Indio life.

Advanced students become eligible for apprenticeship with CUICACALLI DANCE COMPANY  and Dancing Earth. The COMPANY  is inspired by cultural traditions and their development to the modern days, Cuicacalli develops choreographies to revive traditions, social and environmental situations, or simply give a look to the daily life with an abstract motion. As a multi disciplinary dance company, CUICACALLI fuses various styles into a unique story of their own. By including dance styles such as Indigenous, Folkloric, Contemporary, Cuicacalli hopes to expose, sustain, and expand traditional and modern dancing with a new lens.


(Photos of Artistic Directors , all copyright courtesy of photographer Elizabeth Oplaenik for Dancing Earth Creations)

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