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. This week, I’ve done just that, prompted by some quality time with Yvonne Daniel’s thoughtful, thorough book, Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomble (2003).

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?

Falling for Dance

I am thinking a lot about time. It happens every fall. I can’t help it. Everything is dying, coming to an end. It's depressing. But fall also brings seeds. And reminds me why I dance.

Earth Bound: How Making Art Can Save the World

When setting the date for a concert, a name came to mind: Earth Bound. I loved it. Earth is home, source, and destiny. Earth is where we are. Earth is who we are. Earth is where we are going. We are bound by earth, to earth, for earth. And so we live. I had no idea, however, how I would mount a show that would express these ideas. I tried not to panic.

A Summer With Legs

This summer on the farm we have had a good chunk of challenges having to do with legs--cow, hen, and human.

Our Sacred Earth

Everywhere I turn these days, I stumble across contemporary authors and religious writers seeking to mount a spiritual response to the current raft of environmental crises. For such writers, practical responses, as important as they are, will not go far enough in addressing the roots of our predicament. What does it mean to remember the earth as sacred?

An Artist in the Classroom

If we are serious about nurturing creative, problem-solvers for the twenty-first century, then we need artists in the classroom--and ways to value their presence there.

Sibling Intensity and the Prospects for Peace

When our oldest two children were young, I had high hopes for world peace. Whenever a conflict between them erupted, I was always able to work it out by applying a few easy principles. Move with. Say sorry. Move on. Experience with our youngest two sons, however, torpedoed my optimism.