Historical Note Fall 2011

From the Sacred Dance Guild’s Newsletter Winter 1978, Volume XV, No 2


“Calling” from Lotus Light by Ruth St. Denis

The Gods have meant
That I should dance,
And by the Gods
I will!
For in some mystic hour
I shall move to unheard rhythms
Of the cosmic orchestra of heaven,
And you will know the language
Of my wordless songs,
And will come to me
For that is why I dance.


“Dance Divine” from Lotus Light

We are free of time and space
The gestures
Of our right and left hands
In the meetings and partings
Of our rhythms
Are the fulfillment of our completed selves
In the endless avowal
Of that selfhood which is divine
We use our translucent bodies
In a new language
To express the glory of our love

ToniFrom the Sacred Dance Guild’s Newsletter Spring 1974, Volume XVI, No. 3

Praise Him With the Timbrel and Dance; Praise Him With Stringed Instruments and Organs by Vija Vetra

These Psalms from the Old Testament show that dance as worship was known   to the Hebrews of long ago. Likewise the Ancient Egyptians, the Aztecs, the   Mayas, the Greeks and other peoples with a highly developed cultural life made   great use of the dance in their ceremonies and divine worship. The ancient   temples of India, the sacred place of the Hindu religion were once, and to some   extent still are, the scene of devotional dance-offerings. In India, the dance   was also used as a “visual aid” and as a means of teaching people the deeper   meaning of religion through allegorical stories drawn from the Hindu mythology.

From the Sacred Dance Guild Journal Volume 25, Number 3, 1989

 Fifty-Year Backward Look by Forest Winston Coggan

The influence of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn can’t be overemphasized.   So many of the “pioneers” were touched by their dedication, broad study   and wide spread performance.   I’m sure that Mary Jane Wolbers would agree. How fortunate we were to have   them as “mother and father.”  Although I had created small compositions of religious nature for churches, the   first sizeable challenge came in 1947 when, with the orchestra under the baton   of Alexander Schuster and dancers under my direction, we staged Bernstein’s   “Jeremiah Symphony” at MSU auditorium. Leonard Bernstein had worked long   and hard on this music, so close to his heart at the beginning of his career and   was glad to have someone else share his inspiration.

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