Aurora Concert Video Excerpts
Acclaimed master of the electric violin, TRACY SILVERMAN, and renowned Storydancer, ZULEIKHA, join forces in a spellbinding performance of improvisational music, story, dance and humor.
TRACY SILVERMAN was named one of 100 distinguished alumni by The Juilliard School, and is the world’s first concert electric violinist. Formerly first violinist with the innovative Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman is on the faculty at Belmont University and Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, and is a devoted teacher of youths of all ages and levels, in developing alternative string styles, from classical to jazz to improvisation.
ZULEIKHA is an award-winning international performer, educator and humanitarian who uplifts audiences with her humorous, soul-stirring performances and has collaborated with numerous award-winning, world musicians and poets, including Coleman Barks, poet and interpreter of Rumi, world percussionist, Glen Velez, maverick cellist, David Darling, and avant-garde composer/pianist, Terry Riley. Founder and executive director of the non-profit organization, The Storydancer Project, Zuleikha has created unique tools for greater health called Take a Minute™ Core Wellness Exercise and Body Listening Movement Arts, which are being used worldwide to help people improve wellness and create empowered responses to chronic stress and trauma.
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BODYLISTENING: A Movement Awareness Practice (MAP) for Everyone
• Body Listening is a body-friendly way to explore free movement.
• The process begins on the floor, exploring your relationship with gravity, attuning to a quiet deep awareness while being held by the continuity and safety of the floor.
• Moving from the body’s felt-sense, habitual patterns unwind and new pathways open.
• The session progresses to standing and moving while maintaining connection with your inner awareness.
• In the last phase of Body Listening, full body movements through space are explored, in relationship to other people.
• Body Listening doesn’t require special training or equipment.
• It doesn’t ask you to abandon the body you have for someone else’s idea of one.
• Body Listening invites you to inhabit the body you are, and discover what unfolds from that awareness.
• It can be done by everyone, regardless of level of health or movement experience.
TAKE A MINUTE™ is a self-care action plan that only takes a minute of our busy lives.Read More »
Working from the heart of rhythm, Zuleikha teaches throughout the world. Zuleikha offers participants a chance to explore the open world of feeling through the physicality of movement. Using world music, chant, and poetry, a spacious atmosphere becomes an invitation to commune with one’s innermost feelings. Dance serves as a vehicle to “let go” and enter the wilderness of the spirit. Movement is a means of bringing the deepest intention into being.
Zuleikha often brings live rhythmic accompaniment to her workshops. Dance and drum share the language of rhythm. Humans participate in ceremonies with movement as a means of intensive learning and communicating with the knowings inside.Read More »
Zuleikha has been invited to be Artist in Residence at a number of schools and institutions, including Lines Ballet, San Francisco, CA, Lied Performing Arts Center and Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, Nebraska, Smithsonian Institution and the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies and the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., Culver Academies, Culver, Indiana, and Lawrence Arts Center, Dance Department, Lawrence, Kansas.
“I felt very inspired by you and your work. It was an opening and freeing experience to hear your story to see how I could create my own way of living/dancing. I became much more aware of how dance can make a difference ( a huge difference) in our world. It changes our experience of life, of living. It can be like being born again. It can be like dying too. Yes! I would like to do this again.” – Alicia Pugh, San Francisco Lines Ballet studentRead More »
Zuleikha works with thousands of children and teenagers of many nationalities in the US and abroad. Her enthusiasm and love of dance and innovative use of world stories and rhythms bring young people together in a joyful atmosphere, where they can recognize their common human inheritance and appreciate the wisdom of a diversity of cultures. Teaching at schools, at camps, in orphanages and villages, in makeshift classrooms and outdoors, Zuleikha brings her inspirational gifts of movement arts to children of all ages and circumstances.Read More »
THE DANCER IS IN THE DANCE
“Zuleikha…The comedy, grief, longing, silliness, and joy of being human come through her beautiful, very intelligent, very funny presentations. She has been apprenticed to many traditions, almost all of them, but her combining is unique.” — Coleman Barks, poet and translator of Rumi
Inspirational performing artist and storydancer, Zuleikha, a whirlwind of spirit, rhythm, and dance, transports her audiences with stories of nature, world lore and life itself.
Unique and provocative, Zuleikha’s soul-stirring one-woman performances combine creative expression with embodiment of story, dance, rhythm, mimicry and humor. The stories, animals and feelings she dances bring delight as she mirrors the journey of the soul. In the mesmerizing flow of living traditions and the humor and sparkle of the ancients, Zuleikha reveals the soul of our common humanity.
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International storydancer, performer, educator and humanitarian. Zuleikha grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, a center for cultural interchange and artistic innovation. She studied Western classical music, and devoted years to the exploration of so-called “natural movement” and avant-garde dance with choreographer Anna Halprin. Interested in how different cultures find expression in movement, Zuleikha also studied the foundations of Chinese martial arts, esoteric therapeutic movement, and Japanese and Balinese dance. She attended the Ali Akbar College of Music, which was the first classical Indian music college in the West, and later studied with the Afghan musician Ustad Hashim Chishti, who was an exponentmand master of the myriad expressions of North Indian classical music, including melody (raga), rhythm and dance.
As Zuleikha’s practice of various art forms and sacred traditions deepened, she became aware of profound commonalities. She realized that “underlying all of these creative expressions are ancient technologies containing wisdom on how the body, mind and spirit come together through movement.” In performance, Zuleikha started to work with a synthesis of dance, storytelling, poetry, music and humor. She developed movement techniques of body, mind and spirit awareness that have become integral to her presentations. For example, she performs her own style of whirling through focusing on “the roots of inner space.” Zuleikha’s “whirling” is considered by many to be one of the highlights of the Rumi Concert, an inspirational collaboration among Zuleikha, Coleman Barks, the well-known poet and interpreter of Rumi, and world class musicians. Presented to audiences throughout the world, the Rumi Concert exemplifies the connection between artistic expression and the inner experience of the Divine.
(Excerpt from article about Zuleikha, “The Dancer is in the Dance,” by Susan Skeele for SUFI, Issue 85, Summer 2013