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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the work of two Native American dance makers, Emily Johnson/Catalyst and DANCING EARTH Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations, directed by Rulan Tangen. It argues that these choreographers access, strengthen, and enact Indigenous intellectual discourse and knowledge as artistically and politically generative: one, by making contemporary dance that is not always foregrounded as “Indigenous”; and the other that insistently is. Each, in different but related ways, creates work that reflects contemporary conditions, challenges ongoing settler colonization and the federal legal requirements for “recognition” that seek to sustain it, and asserts the import of its own creative intelligence—on its own terms. This dance work, the chapter suggests, draws from specific genealogies of Indigenous peoples and practices to produce a vibrant, contemporary, Indigenous present and future. The piece addresses ways this is both simple, and a radical act.

Keywords: Indigenous, Native American dance, settler colonization, Emily Johnson, Rulan Tangen, DANCING EARTH

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