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Engage yourself with this world class artist by seeing the following on this page:
Zikr Dance Ensemble
Ballet Master Classes and Sacred Dance Specialist
Historical Lectures of Public Interest and Academic Merit:
The Dance Through History Lecture Series
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Zikr Dance Ensemble
The Zikr Dance Ensemble offers a spectrum of works that are based on transcendent dance rituals from many different ancient world cultures along with original and contemporary dance/theatre realizations. The Ensemble’s varied and unique repertoire ranges from Gurdjieff obligatories and sacred movements, including a two thousand year old Assyrian Women’s Mourning Dance, to hypnotic interpolations of the Sufi Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes and the Balinese Sanghyang trance dance. Combined with the theatrical and ritualistic contemporary choreography of Artistic Director David Taylor, the Zikr Dance Ensemble offers stunning performance experiences of spiritual atonement for both audiences and participants alike. The breathtaking choreography and music is complemented by mesmerizing visual projections and an educational narrative provided by Mr. Taylor, completing an evening of mystery, rite and revelation. David Taylor is the Artistic Director of the Zikr Dance Ensemble .
“…..this is dance at its most provocative- tackling themes, subjects and music that no one else touches. “
Glenn Giffin, The Denver Post
“ …the consistency of the ensemble is a wonder to behold – not to mention the versatility. The engaging evening was darn close to perfect. This is not just a dance show, but a total theatrical experience in which every element is crucial – and every element brilliantly conceived.”
Marc Shulgold, The Denver Rocky Mountain News
Zikr - the remembrance of God
The word "remember" is too pale a word for zikr, which has now acquired a large number of associations in our religious literature, especially Sufi literature. In its verbal signification it implies: to remember, to praise by frequently mentioning; to rehearse; to celebrate or commemorate; to make much of; to cherish the memory of as a precious possession. In Sufi devotions, zikr represents both a solemn ritual and a spiritual state of mind or heart, in which the devotee seeks to realize the presence of God. Thus there is zikr of the mind and zikr of the heart. For beginners the one may lead to the other, but in many cases the two may be simultaneous. There is also a subtler distinction, between the zikr that is open, and the zikr that is secret, corresponding to the two doors of the heart, the fleshly and the spiritual.
Ballet Master Classes and Sacred Dance Specialist
David Taylor will serve as a Major Faculty Presenter for the Sacred Dance Guild Festival being held at Connecticut College from July 26 through 31, 2010. Anyone on the East coast who would like to observe his work and consider engaging him should contact PMI to make arrangements. In addition, we are looking for block booking opportunities for the Zikr Dance Ensemble on the east coast.
Specializing in Intermediate and Advanced Ballet Technique and Pas de Deux
Through the course of a twelve-year dance career, twenty-seven years as the principal choreographer and director of his own contemporary ballet company, and now three years as a dance history professor, David Taylor has always returned to teaching ballet as one of his greatest joys. He has taught all ages and levels of ballet technique, pas de deux, variations, pointe, men’s class, and numerous dance related workshops such as dance history, musicality for dancers, auditions and resumes, and careers in dance. Currently, Mr. Taylor teaches Intermediate and Advanced ballet technique and pas de deux with two Colorado based ballet companies, four ballet academies and at one university dance department along with serving as a guest faculty member at numerous Summer Intensive programs.
“David is an extraordinary teacher versed in all methods of classical ballet technique. His approach to teaching is highly effective, nurturing and complete. David’s extensive knowledge of dance history, somatic movement, contemporary dance techniques, and injury prevention are combined with years of experience, on and off the stage, making his approach to teaching truly unique. He stresses the importance of technique, instilling an insatiable work ethic in his students, while encouraging them to develop as artists. He gives detailed descriptions and uses the most clever visualizations to help his students understand the qualities behind the movements they perform. The improvement and refinement of artistry in his students, is evident in their spirited movement.”
Megan Yacko, former dancer with San Francisco Ballet and Artistic Director, Peak Ballet Theatre
“(David) is an amazingly inspired teacher. He comes prepared and excited to share ballet with his students, and his teaching always includes more than just technique as it embraces the history and beauty of the art built into the lesson, all of which comes very naturally to him. He overflows with a genuine interest, knowledge and love for the art.”
Kim Kinnear, Artistic Director, Parker Dance Academy
“(David) spent two weeks at our studio where he taught an intermediate and advanced level ballet intensive class, a pas de deux class and a dance history class. Our students absolutely loved his technical approach and his overall wonderful demeanor. His knowledge of dance history is exceptional and his method of presentation made the class particularly successful.”
DeAnna Anderson, former dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Artistic Director of the Glenwood Springs Dance Academy
“Mr. Taylor is a strong teacher of ballet with a great respect for tradition and historical style. His classes draw attention to details of musicality and phrasing. I have also seen him teach dance history and his knowledge of and fascination with the subject was enthusiastically evident.”
James Clouser, faculty member at University of Arizona Dance Department, former dancer with American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and former choreographer-in-residence with the Houston Ballet and Artistic Director of the Dayton Ballet
Historical Lectures of Public Interest and Academic Merit
The “Dance Through History” Lecture Series
A unique lecture series presented by nationally acclaimed choreographer, master teacher of ballet and sacred dance, and dance historian David Taylor.
Concurrent with his career in ballet as a dancer, teacher, Artistic Director and choreographer, David Taylor has had a long-held and deep fascination with sacred dance and its ritualistic and metaphysical applications, which he readily utilized within his own choreography, and dance history as a whole, which he has now been teaching for the past three years at Colorado State University. These interests and experiences allow him to share a unique perspective on dance as a life-changing activity, and as a barometer for the major spiritual, psychological and paradigm changes throughout the course of time.
“Dance Through History” is a series of one-hour lectures, combined with audio/visual elements, that explore the major dance eras, personalities, innovators, and groundbreaking stylistic movements from a new perspective. Mr. Taylor brings to life these vibrant periods of creativity and expression in dance that assist audiences to not only better understand the art form, but to also be able to put it into the context of the major developments and events of world history.
“The Nutcracker” – Everything you always wanted to know about the world’s most famous ballet but were afraid to ask – or – why are we so crazy about a work that Tchaikovsky himself detested, which received only mediocre reviews at its premiere, and fell into the dustbin of history after only 5 years?
“The Ballet Russe” – the most exciting, innovative and influential 20 years in ballet history – or – can you realistically imagine audiences of today rioting in the theatre because of the controversial nature of a ballet and a musical score? It happened in Paris in 1913.
“The Romantic Era” – when ballerinas were rock stars and ruled the world – or – would you care for tonight's entrée – the baked and buttered pointe shoes of Maria Taglioni? During her heyday, adoring Russian fans ate them at a state dinner in her honor in St. Petersburg.
“The World of Dance according to Louis XIV” – the influence of the Sun King who along with believing he was divine and the center of the universe, also loved to dance – or – what do you think the qualifications should be for one of President-elect Barak Obama’s new cabinet positions? If it was Louis’s call – your refined qualities in execution and performing the minuet, gavotte or bouree had better be high on the list.
“Martha Graham – the towering genius of psychodrama” – no, not a type of cracker, this dance icon was listed by Time magazine as one of the most important people of the 20th century. Martha invented a new language of movement that revealed the passion, the rage and the ecstasy common to the human experience. When approached timidly by a curious autograph seeker who, upon seeing many other adoring fans surround her, asked “by the way, who are you?”, Martha threw the young man’s unsigned paper and pen back at him and bluntly retorted “ Go find out!” Even though she actually detested the term “modern”, everything we now call modern or contemporary dance would today not exist without her.
The “Dance Through History” series is adaptable to and for:
Ballet companies: a 20-30 minute abridged version is available as a pre-performance presentation, complete with audio/visual elements, as a compliment to the Romantic and Classical Era repertoire. Enlighten your audiences and/or provide an educational amenity and performance enhancement to your season subscribers and major donors.
Ballet Schools: the complete history of ballet can be presented in one-hour formats daily, for a one or two week residency, 5-6 days per week, again complete with audio/visual components. Enrich the training of young dancers through developing a greater appreciation and knowledge of the history of their art form. Ideal for Summer Intensive Programs.
College Dance Departments: a perfect compliment to any college or university dance program. Again, available for one or two week residencies, 1 to 1.5 hour formats. Along with ballet history, topics can also include primitive, sacred, Afro-American, jazz, tap and Musical Theatre.
David Taylor: Zikr
Zikr Dance Ensemble
From Ancient Ritual to Contemporary Ballet
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