Core of Culture

Core of Culture is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that for the past 15 years has dedicated itself to safeguarding intangible world culture and assuring the continuity of ancient dance traditions where they originate.

For more information about Core of Culture's ongoing efforts and how you can help, please subscribe to our Newsletter.

Core of Culture educates the public and practitioners about disappearing cultural heritage.



Core of Culture exists to assure the continuity of dance traditions in endangered cultures where they originate and for world culture as a whole. Core of Culture advocates for the importance of preserving ancient dance traditions and is a resource for dancers, scholars and the general public.



Core of Culture offers design solutions in all areas of cultural stewardship and institutional transformation, with an emphasis on building cultural communities. Focusing on global artistic practice, Core of Culture combines traditional and progressive means of artistic production. Core of Culture collaborates with museums, libraries, monasteries, and other relevant bodies.



Core of Culture responds to cultural need in the world, and funding is critical for providing timely research and response. To address this socio-economic reality of our work in remote and undeveloped cultures, Core of Culture raises money to fund international cultural preservation projects.

Completed Projects

Core of Culture’s efforts have spanned the globe, conducting projects throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. What began as a rare opportunity to document the Tibetan Buddhist Cham dance traditions in Bhutan has expanded into a world wide mission to preserve and protect the history and practice of ancient dance.

The Core of Culture Team

Joseph Houseal


As Director of CoC, Joseph Houseal has overseen dance preservation and research projects in Ladakh - from where CoC’s first Buddhist Cham dance restoration DVDs were produced - Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and the Kingdom of Bhutan, where CoC executed a 5- year project culminating in a touring exhibition of Buddhist art and Cham dance, presented by Honolulu Academy of Arts. Joseph is also Director of the Ballet Society app project and has recently completed a research fellowship at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Nicholas Alguire

Design Consultant

Nicholas resides in New York City and oversees CoC's ongoing projects and special publications.

Liz Kidera

Director of Design

An Architect, Exhibition Designer, and amateur paleontologist, Liz Kidera is an expert in the fields of art and science. Liz has worked alongside Joseph Houseal for several years, helping with issues of dance and design at all levels. Recently, Liz worked as the exhibition designer for the newly completed 9/11 Museum in New York City and is the lead designer of the Ballet Society app project.

Gerard Houghton

Special Projects Director

Gerard Houghton has spent the last fifteen years using his skills as a videographer to document and archive ancient dance traditions in the Himalayas. Houghton designed the Bhutan Dance Database housed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

Nathan Whitmont

Associate Field Director

Nathan Whitmont is a wilderness guide, horse trainer, filmmaker, writer, and dance photographer from Bozeman Montana. As Associate Field Director of CoC, Nathan directs and performs remote field work.

Tashi Lundup

Field Research Specialist

Tashi Lundup is a Ph.D Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Tashi is Ladakhi, works in the tourism industry in the summers in Ladakh, and is uniquely positioned to understand the delicate balance of religious rituals and tourism in Ladakh, possessing an activist’s passion for the integrity of his own culture.

Jonathan Greet

Director of photography

Jonathan Greet graduated in Photography, Film and TV as University Medal Winner, from Napier University (Edinburgh) in 1999. He is an award winning designer (Fuji Film Graffiti Award), with dozens of books and exhibition catalogues to his credit. His photography has been published in books, newspapers and magazines worldwide. In 2011 he exhibited a series of portraits in colaboration with Zimbabwean artist, Tapfuma Gutsa, at the 54th Venice Biennale. Jonathan recently co-produced the Daniele Tamagni and James Barnor photography exhibition at October Gallery, London. He works with The Ancient Egyptian Foundation and The History of Chinese Science and Culture Foundation as well as other important archives. Jonathan documented Core of Culture’s Day of Rare Buddhist Dances at the Victoria & Albert Museum, documenting dancers from Sri Lanka, Japan, Ladakh, and Nepal. He is currently in pre-production for a Core of Culture Buddhist dance documentation project in the Himalayas.

Dechen Tundup

Field Research Associate

Dechen is a native of Tabo in remote Spiti Valley, adjacent Tibet in Himachal Pradesh, India. He was a Vajrayana Buddhist monk for twenty-two years, and speaks several languages. He now brings that knowledge to the service of researchers and cultural preservationists from all over the world. Dechen plans and guides movement of the team throughout the remote Himalaya. He is married and the proud father of two children.

Lama Konchok Rinchen

Photographer, Cameraman

Konchok Rinchen has been a Vajrayana monk since the age of 10 when he entered Lamayuru Monastery and attended the school, a branch of the Central Institute for Buddhist Studies. Upon graduating, he entered the Drikung Kagyu Institute in Dehradun where he completed courses in Tantric Ritualism and Buddhist Philosophy. Konchok Rinchen has worked on several CoC field projects in Ladakh, Dha, Himachal Pradesh, and Kashmir. His dance photography for CoC has appeared often on the internet in articles on ancient dance.

Sonam Angmo


Sonam is a Senior Executive at Setco Group in Bangalore, specializing in the implementation of social programs delivering education and holistic development. She is an experienced social worker in remote and rural regions of India, speaking five languages. Sonam has directed logistics and planning for CoC work in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. Her sophisticated understanding of traditional cultures as they interface with contemporary society provides Core of Culture with insightful planning for fieldwork and team building.

Anne-Elvire Buciuni

Communication consultant

Anne-Elvire is a communication expert and an humanitarian activist. She manages the Core of Culture website and social media program. She is developing projects for communities living in precarious states and remote areas. Her work requires her to bring digital skills (computering, web, graphic design…) to societies where they are not taught for a variety of reasons. This allows beneficiaries greater autonomy for social and economic development. Anne-Elvire complements her work with personal creativity as a photographer and writer.

Our partners

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Home of the Core of Culture Himalayan Dance Database


Core of Culture.

A sustainable service organization.

15 Years of Work.

15 Years of Support.

It is only because of dedicated and generous support that Core of Culture has been able to sustain the research and documentation over the last fifteen years, and earned the organization a reputation as the foremost purveyor of ancient dance worldwide. As Core of Culture continues to build and expand, so does the need for further development and support, for both the organization and the areas where CoC conducts work. We encourage anyone interested in the preservation of intangible world culture to reach out to us and learn how you can help.

Core of Culture would like to thank some of it’s many generous supporters over the last several years. It is because of you we are able to continue our efforts in sustaining global cultural heritage where it is most needed.

Join us moving forward!



  • 1100 Pratt Blvd, Chicago IL 60626
© Core of Culture, 2014.|