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    Fancy Dancers Paid Member

    "SCRATCH ANY DANCER and you will find Denishawn"—a phrase common among post-World War II critics—sums up the monumental impact of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Through their tenacity and conviction, their eccentricities and vision, they laid the foundation for what was to become modern dance. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1874, Ruth St. Denis was a poor farmgirl with a flair for the dramatic. In 1904 when she passed by an advertisement in a drugstore window in Buffalo, her "destiny as a dancer... sprung alive": the goddess Isis, bare-breasted and brooding, filled a large poster for Egyptian Deities Cigarettes. One year later, St. Denis performed Radha: The Mystic Dance of the Five Senses, a work about sensuality and renunciation modeled on a character from Edwin Arnold's The Light of Asia. The final tableau featured St. Denis seated in lotus position and lost in samadhi. More »
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    Moonscapes & Mushroom Clouds Paid Member

    A few years ago, I attended a teaching in a monastery near the great Boudhnath shrine in Kathmandu, Nepal. Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama famous for his lively and accessible talks, was debating an ever-vexing question. “So,” the Rinpoche began. “What is Buddhism? Is it a religion? Or science?—What I think and also true!—is that most religions are on one side; while the sciences— physics, chemistry, biology—are on another side. Buddha-dharma is in the middle. On the one hand, Buddha-dharma is a religion; but Buddhism is not really a religion! On the other hand, Buddha-dharma is a science; but it is not really a science! “So what is Buddhism? Hmmm?” The Rinpoche scanned the room. “Buddhism is common sense: truth.” More »