This weekend’s AVAdance CoLABorative performance of “TURIYA: WEAVING LIGHT INTO STORY” is an exploration of how we shine “light” into the negative, difficult, adversarial, or dark situations that we encounter in daily life through the practice of mindfulness and the expansion of our awareness.

Michelle Ava, Joy of Motion Dance Center’s founding Artistic Director & the Artistic Director of AVAdance, created the project with her co-director, Seth Dellinger. Over the last nine months, Ava and Dellinger have brought together artists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

The title of the show, TURIYA (तुरीय), is a Sanskrit word that refers to the “fourth” transcendental state of consciousness where the individual achieves the highest state of spiritual awareness in Hindu philosophy [1]. The idea of “light” comes from the spiritual notion of divine “light” or enlightenment through the achievement of this transcendental consciousness and how those themes affect our everyday lives.

With a richly diverse, multi-generational group of participating artists, TURIYA approaches the ancient Sanskrit philosophy with a modern sensibility. The performance explores and celebrates the collaborators’ life experiences in a multi-media experience fusing movement, original music, spoken word, masks, and more. With a focus on how individuals move through their pain and adversity to seek greater joy, TURIYA “weaves” together pieces that draw inspiration from Fellini, Winnie the Pooh, Kundalini Yoga, and personal mantras using structured improvisation to thread one idea to the next.

We each have access to an unbounded awareness that allows for untapped resources to be transformed into powerful healing opportunities that bring us closer to enlightenment. Through focused practices (meditation, mantra, prayer, dance, storytelling) and our everyday routines, we can bring ourselves and our society closer to the light. Join us this weekend for TURIYA, Sunday, July 16 at 8:00 PM to see more.

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DID YOU KNOW? Ava wrote her graduate thesis on the Effects of Meditation and the Learning of Dance prior to graduating from George Washington University in 1975 and founding Joy of Motion Dance Center in 1976. Learn more about the early years of Joy of Motionon our history page!

Group shot from TURIYA rehearsal.
Dancers pictured from left to right: Uyen & Charise. Collaborators in Michelle Ava’s TURIYA dance.
Uyen experimenting with different gestures that represent connections to the heart and the expansion into light.
“Dance in Light”
Aquiles exploring mask work and motion using masks made by the late Jack Guidone.
Sylvana Christopher working on her “Tigger Unbounced” structured improv using masks made by the late Jack Guidone.
Dancers Charise & Edward rehearsing “Yin Yang.”

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1 Sri Chinmoy. Summits of God-Life