May 032010
Authors: Justyna Tomtas

Tonight, CSU will be host to centuries-old dance forms.

The Zikr Sac Dance Ensemble will perform at 7 p.m. in the Lory Student Center and showcase a variety of dance rituals from different backgrounds, some dating back 2,000 years.

Peggy Christiansen, director of the Geller Center for Spiritual Development, said the dance ensemble’s performances encompass a large range of traditions and cultures.

“It’s kind of a celebration of the various ways that culture connects with the divine,” Christiansen said.

Known as the only professional sacred dance company in Colorado, the dance ensemble mixes original dance rituals from a variety of ancient cultures with contemporary dance and theatre realizations.

David Taylor, artistic director for the Zikr Sacred Dance Ensemble and professor of dance history, said the dance ensemble has a variety of works: from a 2000-year-old Assyrian Women’s Mourning Dance to a Balinese trance dance and a number of other contemporary works based on metaphysical and spiritual realms.

“It’s a very powerful experience that’s really mesmerizing for the audiences. It’s almost like you are having a spiritual experience for yourself while watching them,” Christiansen said.

The ensemble provides a combination of ancient rituals with Taylor’s theatrical contemporary choreography, providing “a unique and powerful experience of spiritual upliftment for both audiences and participants alike,” according to a press release.

Taylor said he hopes students and community members will enjoy the art of dance.

“I hope (the audience) gets an appreciation of the beauty of the dances because these dances are truly beautiful,” Taylor said. “I hope (they gain) a greater sense of appreciation in terms of the beautiful variety of expressions and religious expressions around the world and throughout history.”

The Zikr Sacred Dance Ensemble will include dancers from the Colorado Ballet, the David Taylor Dance Theatre as well as other professional dance companies. The event is sponsored by the Geller Center for Spiritual Development, a non-profit student organization at CSU. 

Thanks to a grant from the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Fund, students are able to get discounted tickets for $5 at the door with their student ID. All other community members are able to purchase tickets for $22.

_Staff writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at

Zikr Dance Ensemble performance

What: Zikr Sacred Dance Ensemble, including dancers from the Colorado Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre and other professional dance companies
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Lory Student Center Theater
Cost: $5 with student ID, $22 for general public

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