Are you curious about this summer's Somatic Immersion? Read on to find out what's happening "behind the scenes" in this 5-day exploration of Continuum's contribution to the body of somatic knowing as it plays out through our personal and collective lives.
It's more than serendipitous that Omega and Watermark Arts are bringing forth this workshop together. Nested in the landscape of the Hudson Valley, every aspect of the Omega site has been developed in consonance with the natural environment. We will have five days to dissolve into Continuum practice, nature and art, while being met with great hospitality. There is a range of accommodations for every taste and budget. This year Omega is also welcoming a new chef, who focuses on delicious, quality, locally-sourced food. Please join us!
With appreciation for your embodied engagement, moving the world,
Elaine and Priscilla
Priscilla: What’s different between last year’s Immersion and this year’s?
Elaine: The workshop we offered last year was a tribute to Emilie Conrad, the founder of Continuum. It was truly a beautiful week with a wonderful group of explorers.
Now, after the discoveries of a generation of somatic pioneers and visionaries like Emilie, what is our role today? What is our creative task and mission?
We need to bring the somatic paradigm into the activities of daily life, and we need to keep innovating.
My vision for this workshop is to be engaging participants in this process of evolving the work of Continuum and somatics. At the same time, the workshop is a genuine retreat. It has to be a “whole-making” experience. That is the heart and soul of Continuum and somatics, in my understanding. To be situated on the Omega campus in the beautiful Hudson Valley, during the lush summer season, gives us the opportunity to delve deeply into this inquiry.
How is the week structured?
It is interesting to me that the container is an important element of Continuum. Containers provide support. Containers provide space. Both are essential for growth, so well demonstrated in nature. Significantly, dialogue, another growth process, is stimulated within a supportive container.
The theme of inhabiting the biological processes of our bodies – our biological systems per se – is developed session by session during the week. Teacher guides will lay out material for going deeper into one’s own lived, breathed, sensed biological lives through the portal of the various body systems. The movement exploration sequences will build from session to session, forming a through-line of connection.
Each session will present material of an informative nature, making connections to the realm of art as well as to the natural world, followed by movement exploration time. Then conversing in small pods, participants will be in exchange with one another. This is how each person contributes to the somatic vocabulary, and more significantly, to the field of somatic intelligence where individual and collective consciousness emerges, expands and innovates.
Coherent exchange and co-creative collaboration are built into the workshop design. The workshop has literally come into being through these processes. I have loved every minute of planning.
Watermark Arts poets, musicians and dancers will premiere new works inspired by the ways of water in an evening program, Watermarkings, Wednesday, July 26, 8 p.m. at Omega. Above, Wondrous Earth, choreographed by Elaine Colandrea, with dancers Sandra Capellaro & Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell. Photo, Phyllis McCabe.
Let’s pick up on theword dialogue. Say more about how that relates to the Omega workshop.
In the flow of somatic movement practice, I experience a dialogue of exchange between my felt, sensed self and my awareness. I am listening to, openly being transformed by following sensation-born directives from the somatic realm. I am freeing myself from making choices that are based on past experiences, expectations, preferences, outside instructions – this time is ripe for discovery.
Moving in this way, I experience myself as a flow of information. The inner dialogue becomes a source of rejuvenation and innovation because information is nourishment, to quote Emilie Conrad. I am in the flow of my own nature and that tunes me in to the wider world of nature around me, too.
Then, when I speak about my experience to others, and they to me, we are all growing in our potential of what is possible, opening portals to vast amounts of information we would never encounter on our own. The dialogue process widens; each of our personal landscapes is enriched, along with the shared collective field of understanding. I find great joy in this evolving process.
Trees Conversing, by Suzanne Wright Crain
Fabric hangings by artist and Continuum teacher Suzanne Wright Crain grace our workshop space in Lake Theatre. Suzanne creates these works in a process she calls "Living Water", using water gathered from natural sources and then imbued with Continuum sound vibrations.
As we've worked together over the years, I've seen how dialogue is part of the way you (Elaine) get things done. I’ve come to refer to this as “dialogic leadership”.
You have helped me – in our conversations – to see more clearly over the last year that this is something to cultivate consciously. We could take creating Omega 2017 as an example.
The web of engagement for the Somatic Immersion started months ago in my conversations with Omega staff, who actively and enthusiastically support the workshop process. The web has been expanding steadily ever since, now including the teaching faculty. Because the faculty will work in pairs, they are entering into dialogue with each other. Their excitement is spilling over to their class participants, located literally all over the map.
I see and feel this as a matrix of support. It’s alive with the sense of ideas pinging off one another, as well as the kind of joy of working with long-term colleagues on a fresh project that maps the work we’ve all been doing into a larger framework.
All of this dialogue is seeding the field for participants, people who come into this matrix, to learn, take nourishment for themselves and engage with one another, and bring this back into their lives, their families and communities.
So, there are layers: dialogue taking place within one’s body … person to person … in the process of creating the workshop ... and out into the world.
Yes! I don’t think last September when you and I chose this theme and way of working that we had any idea of how important it would be as a model for change. Dialogue creates a matrix that we can inhabit. It’s the matrix as much as the information exchange that affects how we go about “moving the world.” When we stand in the place of alive, creative engagement, even problems are interesting. We become empowered. We are generative, we are whole. We radiate joy.
A pair of participants from last year's Immersion, with the lake in the background. The lake offers kayaking and swimming (for other forms of fluid expression), plus beachside hammocks and chairs for communing with the natural environment. Photo, Prue Jeffries.
Somatic Movement Immersion: Inhabiting the Body,
Moving the World
The Somatic Movement Immersion is hosted by Elaine Colandrea of Watermark Arts and cotaught with Mary Abrams, Priscilla Auchincloss, Megan Bathory-Peeler, Ellen Cohen, Ashima Kahrs, Bobbie Ellis, Melanie Noblit Gambino, Bonnie Gintis, Amber Elizabeth Gray, Caryn Heilman, Rebecca Lawson, Val Leoffler, Linda Rabin, Beth Pettengill Riley, and Bonnie Simoa.
Guest presenters include John Bianculli, Elisa Cotroneo, Martha Eddy, Marc Grossman and Susan Knittel.
Into Sunlight, a film by Moving Pictures, will receive a special showing during Immersion 2017. The film tells the story of choreographer and Continuum teacher Robin Becker's dance, inspired from David Mariniss' book, They Marched Into Sunlight, about the Vietnam era. The film perfectly exemplifies inhabiting the body, moving the world.
Join us! The world needs your embodiment, your ability to know