Our inaugural Indigenous Dance Residency featured guest, Julenda Satow Freeman, will navigate us through a series of three post-modern dance works that she choreographed in a week-long residency at the Nickerson-Rossi Dance Theater. Julenda will share her family’s story through movement, language, and photography, inviting conversations with the audience. The Palm Springs International Dance Festival opens its doors to the public to learn, experience, and understand aspects of the urban Native American experience and to provide a platform for contemporary Native people, their lives, and their artistic work.
“I will weave my family’s story within the larger history of colonization and assimilation practices, which ultimately led to a cultural loss for many Indigenous families, my own included. I hope to shed light on the cultural disconnect that occurred due to forced relocation, stolen land, dance bans, genocide, residential boarding schools, and policies such as the Dawes Act.”
Julenda Satow Freeman
means Little Bird in the Lenni Lenape language. (It was my great-grandmother's name as well.
She was a full-blooded Delaware Indian (Lenni Lenape).
"Grandmother Patiacow was a Delaware Indian and Julenda’s great-great-great-grandmother. She, along with her tribe, was forcibly removed from her tribal land along the Delaware River. On a trek like the Trail of Tears, she lost everything except her young son and arrived in Oklahoma with no other living relatives. Against all odds, she survived. Learn more about her story on January 14th, 2022."
Julenda is a mixed-race woman and card-holding member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians (Lenni Lenape) and the Cherokee Nation. She is also a dancer, choreographer, mother of three, professor, and Chair of the Department of Dance at Mt. San Jacinto College. Julie has performed extensively with several modern dance companies and performance
highlights include dancing at the Japan American Theatre as part of the Olympic Arts Festival and performing solo work at the Edinburgh Arts Festival Fringe in Scotland.
Somewhere along the way, Julie fell in love with teaching, and she is deeply committed to creating a welcoming space for students of all backgrounds with special care and advocacy for those who have historically had less access to academia and those whose cultural forms have been undervalued by mainstream dance.
Julie holds an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of California, Riverside, and is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship Award, and an MFA Graduate Fellowship, and is a two-time fellow in the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts. More recently, Julie was a Brithinee Fellow at the Culver Center of the Arts as well as an honoree of the CALIFA: RESToring the Source retreat sponsored by Dancing Earth. She has shared her choreographic work at diverse venues and events, including Highways Performance Space, the Electric Lodge, and at TEDx, Trolley Dances Riverside, between the tables, Dance on the Edge Festival, Front and Main Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
“My background in dance is primarily in postmodern work, so the following dance pieces will often be in alignment with that background and not literal interpretations of the narrative.“
Julenda Satow Freeman