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Audience Location:

Santa Fe Botanical Gardens

Date and Time:

June 24, 2017 at 5:00-8:00 pm MST

Water Locale:

Santa Fe riverbed and arroyos

Santa Fe river


Rulan Tangen will be joined by choreograhers Rujeko Dumbutshena, Emmaly Weiderholt, Bobbe Besold, Domanique Mazeaud, Deirdre Morris, Esme Olivia, and Elise Gent

Rujeko Dumbutshena is an experienced university dance instructor who was on faculty at Sarah Lawrence College for 8 years and now teaches in the dance department of the University of New Mexico. As a Zimbabwean artist living in America, She has successfully been a part of innovative works and was an original ensemble member (dancer, singer, mbira player) in the Broadway musical production of FELA!. Rujeko was commissioned to choreograph and produce an original piece, Jenaguru, as part of the Smithsonian African Art Museum’s African Cosmos exhibit. She received a Brooklyn Arts Council 2013 grant and a BAM/De Vos Institute 2013 Fellowship. She teaches neo-traditional African dance.

Emmaly Wiederholt is a native of Albuquerque, She received her BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah before further studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She performed professionally in the Bay Area for five years, working with a gamut of companies and choreographers. She continues to dance professionally in Santa Fe, most recently performing “Cover Girl,” a one-woman dance-theater show choreographed by Malinda LaVelle. Also a writer, Emmaly earned her MA in Arts Journalism from the University of Southern California. She founded and edits Stance on Dance (, and recently published “Beauty is Experience: Dancing 50 and Beyond,” her first book!

Bobbe Besold is a visual artist, educator, performer and writer who works in all media. Her primary focus is to create art for Earth’s sake, in part, by engaging and collaborating with diverse groups. She was part of the core team that created Flash Flood in the Santa Fe River for, has created numerous public art works about water and uses art to inspire and help restore the communities along the Santa Fe River.

Dominique Mazeaud’s performance The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande launched her devotion to water. She began her 7-year monthly pilgrimage in the Santa Fe River in 1987 walking her way down to the Great River. As an eco-artist and ceremonialist her international work encompasses ritual performance, visual art and pilgrimage, embracing the spiritual in art.

Deirdre Morris, is a performing artist, dramaturge, activist, and educator working in the US and abroad. She is a working member of Dancing Earth (Indigenous Contemporary Dance) and Wise Fool New Mexico (physical theatre and circus arts). Her practice spans the mediums of performance art, dance theatre and site specific installations interested in the embodied experience as the resource and subject matter. Inspired by her study of Butoh dance in rural Japan, her interest is in uncovering artistic material in the performers bodily states, emotions and sensations, and creating physical encounters in wild and constructed spaces. Her collaborative projects, draw diverse communities into a creative process that is socially reflective and ecologically aware. Being affective, generous and sustainable, is the essence of her education and performative work. Her current research is in site specific encounters working with artists and public to create reflective textual, visual and somatic documentation of culture: bridging personal narrative and collective memory. Deirdre has most recently worked as Dramaturge for Dancing Earth (, as well as a director/choreographer/designer for See/Saw, Flexion, Bust! and numerous Wise Fool New Mexico productions ( since 1999. She was a founding member of High Mayhem Emerging Arts ( where she helped produce an internationally recognized annual music, visual and performing arts festival between 2001-2009. Her work has been most recently presented at St. Mary’s College,MD as Artist in Residence, the AHA! Festival in Santa Fe, NM, FemArt Festival at ODA Theatre, Pristina, Kosovo, TAM Performance Space in Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Muszi in Budapest, Hungary and at Art Basel’s Volta! in Basel, Switzerland.Deirdre has been the recipient of grants from the US Embassy in Kosovo and Bulgaria, the McCune Foundation, the NEA, the Astraea Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, The Santa Fe Community Foundation and the Rhode Island Council for the Arts. Her work has been produced by the Houston Council for the Arts, Tokyo Art and Cultural Exchange, Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center (Miami, FL), The Place (London, England) and Bumbershoot (Seattle,WA). Deirdre holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Dramatic Arts with concentrations in Dramaturgy and Devising from the University of California Davis. You can view her work at

Esme Olivia was born & raised in Albuquerque, NM to a Dutch father & a Mestiza Mexican-American mother. Her blood is a peace treaty she honors through prayers of dance, poetry & song. She received her BA from Hampshire College in multi-disciplinary performance & education.

Elise Gent studied ballet and contemporary dance in NYC and leads African dance classes every Saturday in Santa fe at the Railyard for over 20 yrs.

Ehren Natay is a true child of the digital age. He is a two-dimensional designer and painter, working with computer graphic technology and traditional hand-painted imagery. His visual art creations reflect his interests in television, gaming, cartoons, and especially comic books. While he uses vibrant colors for his paintings and t-shirt designs, Natay is careful to recognize that each hue carries a symbolic meaning and is meant to invoke an emotional response. Each line and color has a distinct purpose. He has won awards from the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Native Treasures Fine Art Show, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, and the Artist Designed Collection Fellowship at the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA). (SAR)
Link :

History of Site and Related Water Issues:

It is important to know that the Santa Fe River was named the most endangered in the United States in 2007 by American Rivers. The first dam destroyed the agriculture of Santa Fe, as it was designed to not release any water in the river nor into the extensive acequia system. The second dam joined with the first in completely drying up the perennial springs in Santa Fe.


For the procession of water women up the arroyo, we will be singing: the Water Thanksgiving song by Madi Sato (in Cherokee) and an Ojibwe Women’s Water Song (only sung by women) and taught to the Song Carriers by Madi Sato. Live intuitive improvisation from musician Ehren Kee Natay.

The Performance:

Water Is Life Festival June 24 5-8pm Santa Fe Botanical Garden.
Dancing Earth Creations, Not Afraid To Look and Rivers Run Through Us invites our high desert community to celebrate water with, ‘WATER IS LIFE’ – a community engagement festival featuring creative, interactive, performative, educational activities – at the beautiful Santa Fe Botanical Garden on June 24 from 5-8 pm.
At this moment in history, we honor Water by inspiring action and international collaboration through the universal language of dance, movement, ceremony, story, poetry, art, and ideas.
Join us in honoring the sacred lifegiving aspects of water by participating in a procession from the Santa Fe River, creating a Water Medicine Wheel , story circles, and multi-faceted water activities that are creative, artistic, cultural, and educational .

Arroyo Trio

Environmental Impact:

Please read more about the river at website of one of the WATER IS LIFE festival co-designers :

Directions to the Site of Performance:

Email for more information:

How can I get involved?

We are welcoming volunteers to join our circle of planning for this powerful gathering for the honoring of water, and welcome your creative contribution as a dancer, musician, activity leader !

Local Website:


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