Meditation in Motion, Footprints to the Sublime

Museo di Arte e Cultura Orientale, Arcidosso, Italy
September 27, 2019, through May 31, 2020

The exhibition Meditation in Motion moves from the origin of dance in Tantric Buddhism, with the consecration of Samye Monastery in Tibet by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century, and revisits the sacred dances of other "Treasure Revealers" (terton) who have translated their experiences from a vision into meditative practices.

Many of these “Treasure Dances” originating over the past 1,200 years are still practiced today in Bhutan, India, Nepal, and China, in the provinces of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Sichuan and Qinghai. Dances from each of the Vajrayana orders are displayed, and teachings from Tibetan Masters regarding the profundity of the underpinnings of Dance in Buddhism are shown.

Core of Culture director Joseph Houseal stands in the galleries of Meditation in Motion, Footsteps to the Sublime, next to a goenkhang door from the altar room of the most ferocious protective deities, and a Black Hat sorcerer's hat. A large photo image by Herbert Migdoll of a dancing monk wearing a Black Hat hangs next to the installation.

The exhibit goes further, to represent the Tibetan Dzogchen Master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, who has continued this ancient visionary tradition in the West through his Vajra Dances, which were transmitted to him in a series of lucid dreams received during the 1990s, and have taken root in communities across the globe.

The exhibition concludes with an overview of the Khaita Joyful Dances project also created by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. "Khaita" means “Harmony in Space”. "Kha” means “space or sky”. “Ta” means “melody”.

Come see the range of dances in Tibet's spiritual and secular traditions, and experience dance as a meditative yoga.

Conversations on Dance

Beginning in 2012, Core of Culture’s Director, Joseph Houseal and Director of Design, Liz Kidera, connected with lifelong Ballet patron, Nancy Lassalle in New York, to develop an educational resource for young dancers. Recognizing the need for a connection to classicism and the humanities among dancers studying Ballet, the group came up with a new way to get the material in front of the young dancers -- an app. Ballet Society: Conversations on Dance is the first app of its kind to introduce a curriculum based on classicism and the allied arts, with an emphasis on Ballet. The goal of the app is to provide context for the history of classical Ballet and how it became a modern art form.

In October 2014, the first section of the Ballet Society app, Classicism was released. The event drew attention from across the dance community and Ballet schools within New York City. In April 2015, the second topic, Art, was released adding three new chapters of study for users. In Fall 2015 a new topic, Choreography, was released making for a total of three complete topics within the app. Since Autumn 2016, the School of American Ballet has been using the app in their Cultural Program, which includes trips to museums and performances, visits to the Dance Collection at the New York Public Library, moderated panels of choreographers workshopping studies of individual ballets, and three 2-hour seminars each semester using the app with its topics and images as the basis for conversation. This program of conversations is led by New York City Ballet dancer Silas Farley.

With the popularity of the conversations and content, a grant from the William Mullen Fund was given to Core of Culture to develop the app format into a web-based format accessible to all mobile media devices. This removes the problem of access and makes the series of conversations available to all students of ballet at no cost. The new web based version will be release in Spring of 2020. Tune in for more updates.