Dancing in the Face of Death

What response is possible to an event that is as horrific as the shootings at the Pulse nightclub?

More Than a Horse: Saying Goodbye to Marvin

Marvin, our large, 26-year old chestnut quarter horse, had fallen in the snow, and was unable to stand up by himself. He had to get warm -- soon. What could we do?

Why the Bodily Action of Marching Matters

Those who marched were rehearsing patterns of movement that enable us all to work together in manifesting further the qualities that actually marching requires.

A Message for Artists -- and for the Artist in Everyone

Art is not a luxury. In the wake of the 2016 election in the United States, making and appreciating art of all kinds is more important than ever. It is vital to our humanity.

Are Humans "Born to Move"?

The New York Times asks: “Are we fighting thousands of years of evolutionary history and the best interests of our bodies when we sit all day?"

Why I Dance

You’d think I’d have answered the question by now. I mean, I’ve written a book called Why We Dance. You’d think that “we” includes me. It does and it doesn’t.

Dancing With the Standing Rock Sioux

Why dance when you are protesting the construction of an oil pipeline?

How is the Creative Process an Act of Faith?

Sometimes, in the process of making art, an obstacle is the path, and creativity is an act of faith.

The Ever Unfolding Present: Dance, Music & Living in the Now

Every singular moment is a tightly textured tapestry of trajectories that began long ago and will continue long into the future. So how do we decide to move?

Obey the Flower: Lessons Learned From Drawing a Rose

How a practice of drawing roses helped me appreciate the transformative power of beauty.

What a Body Knows—and What I Can Not

The title of this blog—and the book that inspired it—is What a Body Knows. The sentence seems straight forward enough, but is it? What can I know about what my body knows?

Hamilton: Making History

The beauty of "Hamilton," in its casting and musical styles, is that it manifests—and makes real—the inclusive potential that was there in the early moments of the United States.

"Way of the Bushmen": Dance, Love, and God in Africa

What does the oldest culture of the world have to teach us about dance, spirituality, God, and love?

The Power of Movement

Three scientific studies appeared this week, trumpeting the “power of movement” in combating death, depression, and disease. Is knowing this information enough?

The Sexual Ethics of Star Wars

Why must erotic love compromise a person's ability to use the Force for good?

Exercising Creativity: Four Essential Skills

It was a simple idea--an Additive Advent Calendar--that proved to be veritable creativity skill-building workout. What does it take to create?

Exercise, Movement, and The Brain

Studies of bodily movement and human health generally fall into two categories that reinforce one another: exercise studies and sitting studies. What emerges in the crossfire is a sense that bodily movement is the determining ingredient of health.

Recent Science Supporting "Why We Dance"

Today I begin a new series of posts dedicated to sharing recently published scientific experiments that support the philosophy of bodily becoming I develop in my book "Why We Dance."

Is Dance Religious?

Is dance religious? The question has always troubled me. It presumes a definition of religion (as separate from dance) that has already proven instrumental in the attempted destruction of dance traditions around the globe. I prefer a different question: Is religion dance? Take the case of Ron Brown's dance "Journey of Great Mystery."

Want to be a Parent?

Parents are not rational. Children are not choices. Neither parents nor children are individuals. Rather, parents and children emerge together, in relation to one another, expressions of life itself, as a potential matrix of mutually enabling loves.

Why Grow and Make Your Own Food? Especially as an Artist?

Why grow and make your own food? Why put it in all those hours slaving under the hot sun, covered with dirt, when you could stroll through an air-conditioned grocery store? Why spend all that time processing milk when there are others who can do it for you? And what does it have to do with being an artist?

The Art of Farming

The corn did not look good. The transplants were bending over sideways. What good would it do to dance?

Ten Years of Rural Life

Ten years ago this week, Geoff and I were packing our belongings. We had bought a farm, sold our house, and were preparing to move to a place where we had no friends, no family, no connections, no jobs—a place where we had been only once before, two weeks earlier. What would our new rural life be like?

Spring Roadside Cleaning with Two Boys and Two Bags

So which is it: Do we take care of what we love? Or do we love what we take care of? Which comes first—loving the Earth or taking care of it?

Why Do Humans Dance?

Why DO humans dance? You might think this question would be an easy one to answer. It isn’t!

Not Allowed to Dance?

It is always interesting to look back to those twists and turns in the path that have gotten you where you are -- like time I spent dancing with a Haitian-American dance company.

Saying Good-bye to Daisy

There is a reason I did not write a follow-up to my July post, "A Summer with Legs." I just couldn’t. What happened next was too sad. How do you say good bye to a family cow?

Never Stop Creating

What if creativity is not so cerebral? Not so intentional? What if creativity happens every minute of every day, in the movements of our bodily selves?

Dancing Throughout Life

What happens when I grow old? How happens when I can no longer dance? Such questions can haunt dancers of all ages. They are rooted in assumptions about the short, ephemeral life of a professional dancer that many in western culture take for granted as true. But are they true? Must age be the enemy of dance?

Do It: Finding a Path Between Art and Religious Studies

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel on religious studies and the arts at Harvard University with filmmaker Mustapha Kahn and actress Amy Brenneman. At the end, Diana Eck asked us what advice we would give to students in religious studies who feel pulled to the arts. I said, “Do it.” What did I mean?