I believe that to be an artist and a Baha’i means to serve through my art: to inspire others, to influence and to make change in the world.
For me, as a dancer, artistic expression means sharing, giving and worshiping God. My endeavors as a dancer and choreographer, as a teacher of dance and Spanish language through movement—this is how I worship and show my love for the Baha’i Faith.
If you want examples of how art can change society, just look at the amazing muralists who’ve transformed walls all over the world, drawing our attention to the dire situation of the Baha’i’s in Iran. Look at the amazing musicians who’ve put the sacred verses from the Baha’i writings to music and inspired so many. Look at the theatrical presentations that bring to life precious moments and stories in Baha’i history, such as Tahirih, the Pure One, who has inspired so many women around the world to be exceptional!
My personal artistic modality is dance, and my aim is to serve humanity through choreography, performance and educational programs. My service to humanity involves finding my art modality, perfecting it, educating myself in the craft of dance by taking classes and doing research, and sharing it with the world in a way that is positive, healing, and inspirational:
The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 176-177.
As an artist and a Baha’i, Baha’u’llah’s vision for all-embracing world unity inspires me more than anything else: “Let your vision be world-embracing rather than confined to your own self.” – Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 87.
In my work, I use this powerful quote the most. In trying to internalize it and demonstrate the attributes of inclusivity and selflessness, I have travelled widely and worked with diverse people to bring into my heart different cultures from India, Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa, the Caribbean, Chile, Spain and the United States. I teach, perform and choreograph in a fusion dance style I have created melding Flamenco from Spain, Bharatanatayam from India, contemporary styles from the United States, Salsa/merengue/bachatta from the Caribbean, cueca from Chile and Zimbabwean dance. The fusion of these styles coming together as one showcases our unity, demonstrating how we are connected—and interconnected.
With my art, I hope to inspire others toward that world-embracing view, and help everyone see the beauty in the world:
Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 288.
My aim, goal and aspiration in this life is service, worship, and to help uplift the world, through my mode of creation:
… Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. ….
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