Diane Butler, Ph.D., is a movement artist, teacher and program director who has collaborated with artists from diverse cultures and faiths in the Americas, Europe and Asia for 25 years and resided in the villages of Bedulu and Tejakula, Bali since 2001. Born in Ohio, she lived in New York City in the 1980s – assisting and performing in site-specific works by Sino-Japanese American choreographer Ruby Shang with American, Asian and European artists in natural and urban sites and festivals in the US, France, Japan and UK. Since receiving Mahayana Buddhist vows in 1986, she has engaged in daily shamatha-vipassana meditation, solitary and group retreats, dharma studies, lay practices and meditation instructor training, while applying her practice in the arts. Diane contributed to the field of contemplative education as an Associate Professor, Founding Chair of InterArts Studies and Director of Dance/Movement Studies at Naropa University in Colorado (1990–2001) and Assistant Director (2000) and Director (2001) of the Naropa Study Abroad program in Bali. She was a Co-Founder of the Mariposa Collective (1994–2001). Diane has taught movement and creative process workshops for the Lincoln Center Institute, George Mason University, Hofstra University and Colorado Dance Festival, USA; Tanssavintti in Helsinki, Tanztendenz Munich, Moving Arts Köln, LaSalle Singapore Institute for the Arts and Universitas Tarumanagara Architecture Department in Jakarta. She was a presenter for the 3rd Sharing Time: Nature Movement Art in Dartmoor, UK (1997), 4th European Transpersonal Association Conference: Mandala of Chaos & Harmony in Warsaw (1997), 4th Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne (2009), and 26th Annual Body-Mind Centering® Association Conference: Exploring Our Somatic Roots held in North Carolina (2011).
She has been developing and leading Awakening Art workshops since 1997 – initially in rural and urban areas of the Czech Republic, Poland, Vienna, Hamburg, New York and California and since 2001 in an annual series in the villages of Bedulu and Tejakula, Bali, Indonesia and as a guest teacher in other countries.
Dr. Butler holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School, an MALS in Dance and Culture from Wesleyan University, and was noted as the first foreign scholar to earn a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia in January 2011. She is an alumna of the 2011 Session of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) series on the Management and Conservation of World Heritage Sites.
She has practiced with and performed collaboratively with Javanese movement artist Suprapto Suryodarmo since 1997 and is a Dialoguer in Amerta Movement. In August 2001, Diane and Prapto initiated International Foundation for Dharma Nature Time to support interculture in cultural environments through sharing in the arts, religiosity, and nature. As the President, she has been involved in the actualization of inter-village, inter-province, international intercultural events in sites in Bali and Java with hundreds of artists, scholars and interreligious leaders.