Shine a Light

The Tibetan Book of the Dead is an ancient text designed to provide guidance for the next life. “You whisper it into the ear of an unconscious or dying person; it’s an instruction of what to do,” explains Wendell Beavers, chair of Naropa’s performing arts department. “So in the Tibetan tradition, whether you understand it is not relevant. It’s whether you hear it.”

That’s the general idea behind Naropa’s new multimedia production, Luminous Emptiness, directed by renowned butoh artist Katsura Kan, who’s choreographed the kinetic physical movement on stage that attendees will see; there will also be layers of imagery comprising live music, recorded music, ambient and modern art images inspired by Tibetan art, computer-generated imagery and more. “It’s an immersive journey about death and what happens beyond — rebirth, according to the tradition — and all the visions that they talk about are very vivid, very primary colors. It’s a very heightened sensorial experience,” says collaborator Ken Green.

You’ll have to see it to believe it: Luminous Emptiness runs tonight through Sunday in Naropa’s Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder. Tickets are $10 to $15; call 303-245-4798 or visit
Fri., Oct. 16, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 17, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 18, 2 p.m., 2009

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen

Latest Stories