I have been inspired by the book "This very Moment" by Barbara Dilley.
In this self published book, she offers the epic intricacies and beauty of her long artistic career as a dancer, improviser, choreographer, meditation practitioner and educator.
The book weaves stories from her years at the Cunningham Company, Judson Church, Grand Union experiments and the creation of the dance department at the Naropa University with her prolific invention of generative strategies and scores for the exploration of mind-body-space creativity and choreographic composition.
The book is an excellent recourse for the contemporary movement explorer and a heart felt and honest journey.
I had the honor to interview Barbara Dilley when she was writing the book at a contemplative dance dance retreat.
From the book website:
"The book braids my dancing journey with the discovery of moving mind, thinking, through meditative training, and then bringing all this into teaching practices for dance movement improvisation/composition.
This mingling of teaching thinking dancing began at Naropa University, founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974."
Barbara Dilley, born on the southern tip of great lake Michigan in 1938, began her dancing path with Audree Estey, founder of the Princeton Ballet Society in Princeton New Jersey. Helen Priest Rogers, who danced with Martha Graham, was her mentor at Mt. Holyoke College (1960) and encouraged her to go to the American Dance Festival at New London Connecticut, where she met Merce Cunningham. She was invited to join his company in 1963 and toured extensively until 1968. She danced with Yvonne Rainer (1966-70) and was part of the Grand Union, an iconic dance theater improvisation ensemble (1970-1976). In 1974 she was invited to teach at the first summer of Naropa University (then Institute) in Boulder, Colorado. At the end of the summer the founder, Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, invited her to design a dance program (1975-84). She served as president of Naropa (1985-93) then returned to the arts faculty. She has two children, Benjamin Lloyd and Owen Bondurant.
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