From Wendy Perron's blog post New Dance Books of 2015 (www,wendyperron.com)
The radiance of Barbara Dilley, as both a dance artist and spiritual force comes off every page. She danced with Merce Cunningham, was a sweet, mischievous presence in the legendary improvisation group Grand Union, and went on to teach at Buddhist-centered Naropa University, where she started a dance program and eventually led the institution. Each chapter combines memoir and practice.
Quote (about performing with the Grand Union): “Intuition becomes a survival skill. It takes me forward through the unknown. I find companionship. In this environment an imagistic world explodes. I become part of stories bursting forth like Surrealist images.”
From Steven Taylor's blog Reality Sandwich
"This is why B. Dilley’s book is so valuable. It is an intimate, first-person account of the influence of Buddhism on art in America authored by a unique artist-practitioner who received direct transmission from the major mover of modern dance in the late twentieth century and from a living embodiment of the dharma, and it is a manual for dance as meditation practice." -- "In Barbara Dilley’s marvelous hybrid text, memories from ballet training to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company to Yvonne Rainer's "Continuous Project Altered Daily" to the improvised anarchism of Grand Union and the rigorous stillness of her Tibetan Buddhist practice are woven into a handbook of contemplative teaching practices, adding to an important body of literature by groundbreaking 20th and 21st century dance artists including Rainer, Deborah Hay, Simone Forti and Susan Rethorst. Dilley offers specific studio practices that anyone can adapt while acknowledging that "writing about dancing feels like writing on water." This wonderful book is a skillful integration of ideas, histories, inspirations, practices, pragmatisms, difficulties, and devotions, all articulated with grace and generosity and with a luminous clarity. Like Dilley herself, This Very Moment is precise, elegant, fluid, and generous."
From Judy Hussie-Taylor, Executive Director of Danspace Project, Faculty at Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance
"This Very Moment is a poetic and intimate evocation of Dilley’s path as an artist and as a human being. In her book, Barbara finds a way to translate choreography onto the printed page, taking an array of memoir segments, photographs, classroom exercises, and meditative insights and have them dance together in delightful and rhythmic harmony. In this word-picture dance, she depicts her journey from early ballet training to the avant-garde world where she worked with Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and other leading figures. She shows how she came to teach dance at Naropa University, meet her teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and learn about meditation and Buddhism. Eventually, Barbara reached a point where the boundaries between life, practice, and art dissolve, and from this point Dilley offers us this remarkable book – in this very moment."
From Judy Lief, Naropa University President, 1980-85.
"With a deft hand Dilley leads us through the touchstones of her life: we travel by her side as she dances in the forefront of American dance ensembles in New York City during the 60s and 70s and we sit with her in the presence of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as her heart and mind open to new perspectives. Amidst these memories of people, places, and events, she weaves classroom instructions from her mindful dance pedagogy. This Very Moment is a must-read for those dedicated to dancing and for those brave dreamers who follow their passions and recognize the life changing teachers and calls along the way."