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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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.
Throughout the year, in a wide variety of venues, Zuleikha joins together with world musicians and poets to make magic. These performances create a glow of humor, depth and virtuosity. Performance in collaboration is another way of creating community. Crossing the borders of many cultures, Zuleikha has worked with such great world musicians as the late African drum master Baba Olatungi, jazz guitarist Bruce Dunlap, cellist David Darling, vocalist/instrumentalist Jai Uttal, world percussionist Glen Velez, composer/cellist Eugene Friesen, avant-garde composer/pianist Terry Riley, fusionary musician Kitaro, pianist Aaron Stern, master oud musician Rahim Alhaj, Coleman Barks, poet and translator of Rumi, and many others.Read More »
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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