About the Author

Photo by Rebecca West.  (She caught me smiling!)

Barbara Dilley,  born on the southern tip of great lake Michigan in 1938, began her dancing path with Audree Estey, founder of the Princeton Ballet Society in Princeton New Jersey.  Helen Priest Rogers, who danced with Martha Graham, was her mentor at Mt. Holyoke College (1960) and encouraged her to go to the American Dance Festival at New London Connecticut, where she met Merce Cunningham.  She was invited to join his company in 1963 and toured extensively until 1968.  She danced with Yvonne Rainer (1966-70) and was part of  the Grand Union, an iconic dance theater improvisation ensemble (1970-1976). In 1974 she was invited to teach at the first summer of Naropa University (then Institute) in Boulder, Colorado.  At the end of the summer the founder, Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, invited her to design a dance program  (1975-84).   She served as president of Naropa (1985-93) then returned to the arts faculty.   She has two children, Benjamin Lloyd and Owen Bondurant.