Kari Tauring is a Minneapolis based Nordic folk musician, dancer, and storyteller and author of “The Runes: A Deeper Journey”. A volva in Old Norse, she “carries the staff” of spiritual tradition within the folkway of her Nordic ancestry through performance, education, and authorship. She grew up in a Norwegian family in Minnesota with summers spent with extended family in Wisconsin. Kari combines deep scholarship and personal practice to create new interpretations of what it means to be Nordic. Called “innovative folk” music, Tauring gives modern relevance to the ancient poems and songs that inspire her.
Kari played original folk music in the Twin Cities and around the Midwest from the early 1990’s. From 1999 – 2006 she produced large scale Winter Solstice celebrations with original music, dancers, puppets, and visual artists. She has several recordings and parts of these celebrations can be seen on youtube etc.
Her early studies of Runes and ancient texts about them (1989) began making their way into her musical life in 2003 as she began reconstructing the staff carrying women’s traditions of her Norwegian heritage. Using the staff and stick for chanting runes is at the center of Volva Stav is her original work aligning the body and its processes with the world tree and its many inhabitants. The use of staff rhythm for journey and rune expression, and the dovetailing of rune postures within Nordic movement is unique, profound, and well received around the world.
Kari began studying Scandinavian folk dance in 2006 and putting rune postures to traditional Scandinavian folk dances sparked her programs in Nordic Roots Dance in 2011. She continues to dance in performance groups, teach runes in the dance workshops, and connect the very ancient to the very modern through the threads of these folk ways.
Alt for Norge (Season One, 2010 tvnorge.no)
Kari brought her unique brand of Norwegian Minnesotan to Norway in Season One of Norway’s favorite reality show, Alt for Norge (everything for Norway). Fans called her kjæreKari med staven or dear Kari with the staff. Her version was used in advertising for subsequent seasons where immigrant taxi drivers stand around laughing at her rendition of the popular old song, “Kjærringe med staven.” Kari reckons they didn’t understand her grandmother’s dialect!
Here is her Audition Video recorded in 2008. Filming was in 2009.
- Bachelor of Arts Double Major Philosophy and English, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul – 1989
- Master of Arts in teaching, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul – 1996
- Ordained – Church of Spiritual Humanism, September 2007