Ray Hayward (guest artist, master T’ai-Chi teacher) and Jane Shockley (Carleton Dance Faculty) created the dance piece AZOTH for Semaphore’s Fall and Spring Dance Concerts.  “This collaboration grew out of a mutual fascination and reverence for the body, ritual, martial arts and the mystery of humans in motion. Azoth is an ancient Semitic word meaning essence.”

Ray Hayward began his health maintenance and Martial Arts training in 1973, studying Kenpo Karate and Jiu-Jitsu. In 1977, Ray met and began study with Master T.T. Liang in Boston. He learned the complete Yang Style T’ai-Chi Ch’uan system from Master Liang, as well as Praying Mantis, Ch’i-Kung, Taoist Meditation, Ch’in-Na, Wu Dang Sword and various weapons. In 1984, Ray moved to Minnesota to continue studying with Master Liang and in 1988 he passed through a formal ceremony to become an inner-door disciple of Master T.T. Liang . Ray is the chief instructor at Twin Cities Tai Chi Ch’uan Studio. 

With a deep interest in spirituality and meditation, Ray has explored many Eastern religions, focusing on Taoism and Sufism. He currently teaches T’ai Chi Ch’uan at Carleton College at the Recreation Center and The Twin Cities T’ai-Chi Ch’uan Studio in St. Paul.