Dana Caspersen, MS, MFA, conflict specialist, award-winning performing artist and author of Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution (Penguin 2015, A Joost Elffers Book). Caspersen’s work integrates conflict engagement strategies with choreographic methodologies to create projects ranging from individual coaching tools to large-scale international public dialogue events addressing topics such as immigration, racism and violence.

As a primary collaborator of choreographer William Forsythe for 30 years, Dana has written theatrical texts and performed as a principal artist in Forsythe’s most celebrated works with the Ballet Frankfurt and the Forsythe Company.

She holds an MS in Conflict Studies and Mediation, an MFA in Dance, and teaches, coaches and mediates in situations of conflict. She has received the Bessie Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement.



What the Body Says
by Mary Oliver

I was born here, and
I belong here, and
I will never leave.
The blue heron’s

gray smoke will flow over me
for years
and the wind will decide
all directions

until I am safely and entirely
something else.
I am thinking this
this winter morning

as I sit by the fire
and the fire in its red rack
keeps singing
its crackling song

of transformation.
Of course
I wonder about
The mystery

that is surely up there
in starry space
and how some part of me
will go there at last.

But I am talking now
of the way the body speaks,
and the wind, that keeps saying
firmly, lovingly;

a little while and then this body
will be stone; then
it will be water; then
it will be air.