Nina Wise is a dancer, a singer, and a performer of improvisational theater. She’s also a spiritual seeker and teacher with an eclectic practice that embraces both Buddhism and her Jewish heritage. She sees absolutely no difference between her creative arts and her spirituality – in fact, they are one and the same. Her freedom to dance and sing and have fun is her path to truth. But most of us have forgotten how to let down our inhibitions and follow our creative energy. With her gentle humor Ms. Wise points out, “We’ve given up fun. So we have to take Prozac.” In her search for playmates, she performs and teaches around the world to encourage each of us to give ourselves permission to move with ease and freedom, and overcome our fear of breaking out in song. She explains, “Part of what leads us to truth is responding, without repression, to our own natural impulses. And a lot of those impulses are about making art.” With stories that make us laugh and sigh, and certainly make us want to sing, this joyful artist makes it clear that expressing our own artistic, creative energy will make us healthier, happier, and closer to our spiritual nature.
Nina Wise has been a teacher for more than thirty years, and is the recipient of many honors including three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life: Self-Expression and Spiritual Practice for Those Who Have Time for Neither (Broadway Books 2002).
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- How surviving a difficult childhood could make you a better artist
- Why dancing may help you become enlightened
- How you can become happy by simply relaxing
- Why breaking the rules can make all kinds of things work better
- What might happen if leaders of nations began every political summit by singing a few jazz riffs
- How you can sing or doodle your way out of feeling blue
Program Number: 3040 Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 3/3/2004