Spiritual Director of Tara Dhatu
Tara Dance. Dharma Emporium. Dances of Universal Peace.
I must have danced out of my mother's womb," says Prema Dasara, who began formal dance training at the age of three. She soon abandoned the formalities to dance on her own, like her idol Isadora Duncan, as a personal expression in nature. She did not return to formal classes until she went to India in 1976 and became a student of Ramani Ranjan Jena, a master of the Odissi style of Classical Indian Temple Dance.
During the six years she spent in India she worked as an editor for the Theosophical Society, immersing herself in the study of comparative religion. She studied Classical Indian Music and Sanskrit to deepen her understanding of the Hindu Culture.
In 1983 she settled in Hawaii where she became a student of the Tibetan Buddhist meditation master, Lama Sonam Tenzin. He encouraged her to continue her sacred dance work which culminated in the creation of the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara, a group ritual based on the profound mind training practices of Tibetan Buddhism. She has traveled the world for 14 years teaching this dance. She has been invited to present the ritual to many of the most accomplished lamas including His Holiness the Dalai Lama who proclaimed the dance, "wonderful".
Prema continues to create dance rituals. For inspiration and authenticity, she studied Charya, the ritual dance of Nepali Buddhists, a style based on Odissi movement but dedicated to Buddhist practice. She studied Tibetan Lama dancing at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, and sacred Balinese dance from the Queen of Peliatan in Bali. She became a student of the revered Meditation master, the Venerable Bokar Rinpoche and underwent a series of retreats to deepen her understanding of the Tibetan methods of practice.
In 1995 a group of friends and students on Maui formed Tara Dhatu, a non profit organization to support Prema and her mission of teaching sacred dance as a means of inspiration and empowerment. In 1997 she went to China to study the healing art of Chi Lel and has incorporated this Mind/body modality in all of her classes. Prema teaches with humor and clarity. She leads anyone who participates in her work into an experience of their own potential, and teaches simple clear methods of developing this wisdom in their day to day life.