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Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh

skinglass2“If you have ever longed to dance, if you have danced, if you are a seeker, this book will touch you and open your awareness to the majestic inner landscape of our being.”
––Laurienne Singer, MA. Faculty, Los Angeles City College dance department

“…non-fluffy, erotic, and startlingly honest…”
–Ruth Vincent, The Villager

“Profound ideas, expressed in startlingly evocative language.”
––Roger Copeland, author of Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance

“The urge to devour this book for its content is irresistible. But you’ll receive more if you read slowly enough to let the author’s rich language fire your neurons and seep into your flesh and blood.”
––Mary Bond, MA, author of Balancing Your Body, & The New Rules of Posture

“McPherson is an embodied woman grounded in her personal mystery, welcoming from beyond the veils. Our author uses her gift of language, detailed observation, and memory to inhabit landscapes and mirrors inside body and soul. Her focus on being embodied, awake, and fluid shows hope of the creative process married to the mystical journey…”
––Bernadine Jennings, Attitude: The Dancer’s Magazine

 Yes, I’d like a copy!

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0980198607Praise for ‘Skin of Glass’

Beautiful and compelling
“Dunya does a beautiful job of translating the language of the body into a written form. This is a moving book to read, and one that may likely make you want to move. Honest, brave, insightful and very smart on many levels, this book communicates both literal thoughts and a compelling energy. Many spiritual quests overlook the body. This one goes right into the depths. Well worth taking your time to savor the language. ”
––Marjie Citron, New York City (Amazon review)
(more)

 

Skin of Glass is mysticism for New Yorkers: a non-fluffy, erotic, and startlingly honest memoir.”
–Ruth Vincent, The Villager (more)

“Dreamy, deeply searching, and so smart kinesthetically, this book beautifully punctuates poetic narrative with startling reality checks–school, food, father, shrink, guru, and other juicy reveals. As the memoir becomes more intensely ‘Sufi’, she journeys through organs, bones, muscles, delving into an ‘other’ realm of thinking. A wondrous and thought-provoking excursion.”
––Janet Mansfield Soares, Professor of Dance Emerita, Barnard College, Columbia University


“I read Skin of Glass in two days all the way through, wishing as I read that there was a way I could inhale your book instead, draw this feast of story into me sooner, faster, more vividly. I need  the fragrance of what you have told. Only when the transmission is whole does beauty bloom with Essence. And in the flow of your stories I can see this beauty blooming. Your intimate poetry prose paints brilliant color and life, and I quicken with it. I feel it filling in the mesh of who I am, like water clinging to the holes in a sieve. I can only say Thank you. By it, I am blessed.”
––Jenna Woods, author  of  The Dancing Cymbalist
(more)

“Dunya Dianne McPherson has Skin of Glass in order to share transparency and communion with the special calling that is a conscious, spiritually-filled dance career. Her focus on being embodied, awake, and fluid shows hope of the creative process married to the mystical journey…Our author uses her gift of language, detailed observation, and memory to inhabit landscapes and mirrors inside body and soul. What especially makes McPherson a living teaching tool is how she continues to grow via her yoked mind/body/spirit continuum. This text is her testament and reveals her place of wisdom: be a witness and fellow wayfarer of how the Acrobat of God [dancer] maintains a Skin of Glass amidst the earthquakes on her return HOME…a generous gift of compassion, support, and steadfast presence…Dunya Dianne McPherson is an embodied woman grounded in her personal mystery, welcoming from beyond the veils…”
––Bernadine Jennings, Attitude: The Dancer’s Magazine, summer 2008

“Memoir, prose poem, erotic journey, mystical discourse and cultural commentary–Dunya’s brave book also launches a new genre of writing from the body. It is a book sorely needed by a culture disembodied by fascination with electronic devices. Dunya’s sensuous writing will draw you in from page one. You will travel inside her body, within her shadows and glory, as she recounts her spiritual quest. The urge to devour this book for its content is almost irresistible. But you’ll receive more from Skin of Glass, if you read slowly enough to let the author’s rich language fire your neurons and seep into your flesh and blood.”
––Mary Bond, MA, author of Balancing Your Body, & The New Rules of Posture

Skin of Glass integrates narrative memoir with an almost microscopic focus on individual parts of the body (eyes, legs and crotch, spine, ovaries) in a way that does justice to the particularity of each subject area while also deriving rich and resonant literary metaphors for each of these “bodily stations.” In fact, one has to return to Elizabethan conceptions of the “body politic” to find such ambitious use of the body-as-literary metaphor. Dunya’s writing moves effortlessly from the particularities of subjective sensation to a more objective and generalized meditation on the significance of those somatic experiences. These are profound ideas, expressed in startlingly evocative language.”
––Roger Copeland, author of Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance

“Dunya eloquently expresses how exploration of body awareness opens doors to understanding, not just of movement and skill, but also about the essence of being. Hers is a searing story about negotiating between life in an exotic enclave of rarified mystical practices and life in the “real” world, where the search for love and healing is no less mysterious. Her tale offers insights and inspiration on every page.”
––Christopher Pilafian, Lecturer, Department of Theater & Dance, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Dunya’s journey from the tyranny of the External to the Truth of the Internal is wonderful to read.
––Phoebe Neville, choreographer, dancer, Buddhist, ITALY

Yes, I’d like a copy!

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0980198607The Book: Table of Contents & Synopsis

Table of Contents
Part One: Formation
1 – Blue Eyes
2 – Sufi Eyes

Part Two: Sensation
3 – Legs & Crotch
4 – Spine
5 – Ovary
6 – Skin

Part Three: Circulation
7 – Blood

Glossary
Reading List


Synopsis
Part 1

Dunya’s intense passion for dance takes her from Cape Cod in 1972 to the Juilliard School in NYC. A decade later, healing from a serious injury, she turns away from a successful performing career and retreats to a monastic mountaintop community directed by a charismatic Iraqi Sufi Master where she trains for 17 years. These influences combine into the path of dance as meditation.

Part 2
During a period of two years following 9/11, the author  embarks on a period of closely observed daily Dancemeditation practice. She chooses several body parts––legs, spine, skin, and ovaries––as arenas of study. Each body part holds a distinct part of her story;  each body part is a door to new self-perception. Her body is no longer a Photoshopable image or a decay-prone liability, but a world of sensation-based knowledge and mystical communion.

Part 3
The completion of this piece is reflection through practice, teaching, and performance on the body’s waking dream.

 

Yes, I’d like a copy!

 

PRESS REVIEWS
READERS SAY
ABOUT DUNYA

 

 

 

 

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