Dancing Earth’s GROUNDWORKS  is a year long project that honors our relationships with California Native artists, culminating in a multidisciplinary, mobile performance art installation that amplifies the oft-forgotten Native presence under one’s feet anywhere in the Americas–embodying the indivisibility of the ceremonial and the artistic, as well as a disruption of settler-colonialist notions of discrete genres.

GROUNDWORKS has been rooted in relationship building with our Bay Area California Native cultural collaborators and their mentors, of Costonoan Ohlone, Kashaya Pomo , Miwok, Wappo, with Southern California Native  Tongva, and Mono Lake Paiute and global indigenous artists , to listen in deeply to stories, issues, dreams and support with our artistry and with innovative media collaboration with Toasterlab.

We preview GROUNDWORKS at Alcatraz in October for Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct 8th 2018 after sunrise ceremony , after seasonal creative and cultural engagement sessions with community youth and elders in Indian Canyon, Point Arena, Wappo Indian Center, and private Native sites.

San Francisco this year has proclaimed the city’s first official Indigenous Peoples Day , and the Alcatraz sunrise ceremony prior to GROUNDWORKS will  become witnesses , as we  leverage the power of street art to spark chance encounters and unanticipated. participants !

Our ultimate goals are to ritually and artistically re-indigenize stolen land, foregrounding Indigenous original presence here in California Bay Area with respect to host First Nations of Ramaytush Ohlone and diverse Ohlone bands, Pomo, Miwok, Wappo –  including  and raising consciousness around colonization, accountability, and conquest.

Special thanks to Ras K’Dee, Kanyon Sayers Roods, Desirae Harp, Tisina Parker, Bernadette Smith and mentors TekTek , Anne Marie Sayers, Jonatahan Cordero, Corrinna Gould, Ruth Orta, Eloy Martinez, Gregg Castro, Clarence Carrillo, L Frank Manriquez, Antonio Moreno, MorningStar Gali and International Indian Treaty Council – and all the wonderful knowledge keepers who spent time with us!

 GROUNDWORKS is rooted in upon over a decade of practice of  Dancing Earth (DE)initiating contact for cultural protocols/permissions with Indigenous land caretakers and culture carriers at all proposed sites everywhere we are invited,  cultural revitalization for intertribal youth and building alliances and bridges of awareness with non-Native peoples. Returning over years, the relationships move from granting permissions to welcoming to exchanges,  vital creative resilience from community members, and inspired to join forces to interpret the shared stories as cultural consultants and interdisciplinary collaborators in order to reclaim Indigenous territory.

Dancing Earth:

  • Rulan Tangen – Choreographer/ Artistic Director (Kampampangan/Norwegian)
  • Bernadette Smith – Dancer/ Singer/ Concept for Spirits Within (Coastal Pomo)
  • Ciera Budge – Dancer/Musician (Northfork Mono)
  • Esmé Olivia- Dancer/ Song Maker (Central Mexico, Spain & Friesland)
  • Fernando Miguel – Dancer (Mayan)
  • Natalie Aceves – Dancer (Mexican-American, Pacific Island, Italian, Irish)
  • Sammay Dizon – Guest Dancer (Bikol, Kapampangan, Ilokano)
  • Julia Miller Vasquez – Guest Dancer (Indigenous Mexican-American, Spanish, Portuguese, English, North African, German, Russian, Polish, Middle Eastern)

California Native Collaborators :

  • Bernadette Smith – Dancer/ Singer/ Concept for Spirits Within (Coastal Pomo)
  • Desirae Harp – Vocal Contributions (Wappo)
  • Kanyon Sayers-Roods – Vocalist/ Musical Contributions (Mutsun-Ohlone & Chumash Native from Indian Canyon Nation)
  • Ras K’dee – Music Production (Makamo Mahilikawna, Kashaya, Ha Bida – Afro/Pomo)
  • Tazbah Chavez – Writer/Poetry/ Spoken Word (Paiute)
  • Tiśina Ta-till-ium Parker – Production Manager / Costume Design (Ahwahnee Miwok, Kucadikadi Paiute)


  • Tenihkie Brant – 2nd Camera/ Tech Support (Mohawk)

Dancing Earth