Water ~ Source of Creation, Source of Solutions

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Watermark Arts dedicates 2020 to honoring water

With fires raging, there is a need for new solutions to environmental, societal and personal problems. Now is the time to call upon the healing power and generative wisdom of water.

The Water Blessing Project is an invocation to water and to self-inquiry in service to the whole of existence.

We invite Water Blessings to be collectively shared around the world through performance and individual movement meditation practice.

Read the newsletter here.  Learn more about the Water Blessing Project here.

Water Blessing

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Inaugural Water Blessing dance at the Omega Institute, Rhinebeck NY, July 4, 2019. ( 4 min.)

Conceived by Elaine Colandrea, original music by Morena Boschetto, filmed and edited by Prue Jeffries.

Performed by Bea Ehrsam, Nicole Faustini, Melanie Gambino, Lauren Grady, Lila Greene, Meredith Johnson, Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell, Rori Smith & Kori Tolbert.

Watermark Arts dedicates 2020 to the Water Blessing Project.

Contact Elaine at info@watermark-arts.org to learn how to participate.

Water Blessing Instructional Video: vimeo.com/369923148

Written Continuum Water Blessing Instructions: watermarkarts.org/water-blessing-project/

Joy – a Vital Nutrient

ElaineNews, Newsletters

A note from Elaine

May you move artfully into 2020!

Bringing forward creative expressions and new questions that arise from embodied, fluid, somatic exploration is our pleasure and purpose at Watermark Arts.

This final newsletter of 2019 features art films capturing what is deeply meaningful to me and at the heart of all Watermark Arts activities: the melding of art, nature, and collaborative creation. We debut Joy on Broadway, filmed in a NYC park on a 29 degree December day.

Whether you watched a video, came to a performance, contributed to our galleries, perused A Moving Inquiry, played with the Moving Art Cards, immersed yourself in our Journal, or attended the Somatic Movement Summit at Omega, we are grateful for your engagement with our endeavor to make the world a more harmonious place through somatic practice, inquiry and the arts.

As the decade comes to a close, we wish you quiet repose as well as unbridled joy,

Elaine, with the Watermark Arts Creative Team

Read the newsletter here.

A Year of Creativity and Health

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This newsletter brings you the 2019 Watermark Arts Journal, 56 pages of words and images culminating our yearlong exploration of Continuum & the Creativity of Health.

The Journal offers an in-depth conversation between Bonnie Gintis, D.O., and Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell, accented with transformative, somatically-informed images from Watermark’s galleries.

We invite you to dive with these eloquent guides to the center of the interconnection of creativity and health, to emerge with a fresh perspective on the very nature of health, revealed in specific ways that Continuum practice contributes to the healing process.

Beautifully designed by Prue Jeffries, this issue of the Journal is also translated into Italian by Annalisa Dondi and Simona Arbizzani, as well as into French by Naomi Walker.

Appropriately, the 2019 Journal is home to our complete Creativity of Health video series, including the newest interview with human rights psychotherapist Amber Elizabeth Gray.

Holding all the best for your well-being,

Elaine Colandrea  Priscilla Auchincloss    Prue Jeffries          Sandra Capellaro
Artistic Director     Associate Director       Creative Director   Galleries Administrator

PS – The Moving Art Cards make great holiday gifts. Order early so the decks can be shipped to you. You will be supporting the Watermark Arts workshop scholarship fund, too. Thank you!

Read the newsletter here.

Amber Elizabeth Gray on Continuum & the Creativity of Health

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From Darfur, Kosovo and Haiti to her clinic in New Mexico, human rights psychotherapist Amber Elizabeth Gray blends dance therapy and Continuum in her recovery work with refugees. “Every human being deserves the right to inhabit his or her body in the way they choose.”

Continuum & The Creativity of Health interview with Amber Elizabeth Gray (video transcript):

Continuum supports me in my work as a human rights psychotherapist and a dance movement therapist working in human rights contexts. Dance therapy nourishes me in so many ways but also there was a certain demand. So where those demands were Continuum was the nourishment. Over the years, they’ve come slowly together. There was a point where I remember I [said], I’m going to just start sneaking a little Continuum into dance therapy.

I remember particularly it was with one client who is a survivor from Iraq who had lived in the same town as Saddam Hussein and had lived her whole life with the fear that anybody in your family could disappear, because that’s what happened. And therapy and dance therapy and lots of good really solid attempts to work with her – she really wanted to find her body again, she’d developed a lot of weight – and I just really tried something different. I just had this feeling, and she said, “sure, try anything, I’m tired of suffering,” and we did some lunar breaths.

I brought in a yoga mat in for that session and we did some lunar breaths. She just opened up her eyes and looked at me, and she said, “this is what a body is supposed to feel like?! I’m home. I just found my body.” And from that moment on, I started to layer Continuum into dance therapy and layered dance therapy into Continuum and they’ve merged together.

Ever since I’ve started teaching Continuum, quite honestly, I don’t feel as burned out.

Every time I came out of Rwanda, or Kosovo, or some of the places I was working, I was fine and I was really sick. I had a really bad cough, my back went out, etc. So there would be some aspect of my health, my wholeness, my wellness that would be affected. And when I went to Darfur, which is probably one of the most dangerous places I’ve ever been, there’s a certain magic, the landscape has this really deep tawny rose colored sand, that’s like silk. Camels, the way that they move,  white robes. So there’s all this beauty and then there’s all this not beauty  there’s the war.

Every night I would lay in bed, and I had to sleep under one of those big thick mosquito nets because there were spiders there, and I did the lunars. And it was the first time that I had a really conscious practice, like it was like kind of like a lullaby or a prayer you’d do for a little kid. I would just get into bed and I would do the lunars until I drifted off. And I would do the lunars with the landscape when I was walking around. I remember I went home from that trip and my husband looking at me and he said, “there’s usually some suffering that comes home with you. I’ve never seen you so light. And so uplifted.” I said, “well, it was different this time.”

I realized it was the way the lunars connected with the beauty of that place, they were the perfect breath to go with the sound of the wind at night, and the little hut, the cool that is coming through, the shape and colors of the sand, the hills, the movement of the camels.  And ever since I’ve started teaching Continuum, quite honestly, I don’t feel as burned out. I don’t feel as stretched out.

I always say everyone has the right to embody their body […] and that’s really the spirit of this work. So the creativity of health is also acknowledging that we can be empowered to move ourselves from when we’re in the more alien places, to the places that have more wholeness.

Dancing with Trees, Breathing with Life

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A note from Elaine

Here in the Hudson Valley, the leaves have fallen. The trees stand revealed as their trunks, branches, and ever more finely dividing stems. In the branching forms viewed through my window, I realize I am seeing the structures within my own lungs, only on a larger scale. Branching is a universal pattern, expressing an elemental movement toward greater exchange, closer intercommunication – the ability to generously give and widely receive.

This newsletter brings you two new “branches” from our ever-growing video collection. First, we give you Tree Tryst, danced last July at Omega Institute, partnering Continuum movers with a grove of pine trees. Next, as part of our series on the Creativity of Health, author and Continuum teacher Ashima Kahrs speaks of how Continuum gave her the ability to go beyond the limits of what she thought was possible in recovering from a stroke that had occurred decades ago. This is a living example of how increasing intercommunication informs the healing process and optimizes health.

I am also delighted to announce the Omega 2020 faculty for what will be our fifth Somatic Movement Summit: The Elemental Nature of the Body, July 19-24, 2020.  My collaboration with these 12 amazing teachers sets in motion a collective teaching design which offers a lively planning process, enhancing the experience for all workshop participants.

In the spirit of exchange and communication,


Read the newsletter here.

Tree Tryst

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Tree Tryst, danced last July at Omega Institute, during The Somatic Movement Summit, Creativity of Health, partnering Continuum movers with a grove of pine trees.

Bea Ehsram, Nicole Faustini, Melanie Gambino, Lauren Grady, Lila Greene, Meredith Johnson, Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell,Rori Smith, Kori Tolbert

Choreography by Elaine Colandrea
Film and Video by Prue Jeffries
Original Music by Morena Boschetto

Ancestral Table

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A spontaneous Continuum collaboration that emerged from an afternoon walk in the calanchi of Parco Abbazia di Monteveglio, Italy -responding to the earth below and the air around us.

Continuum Movers: Elaine Colandrea, Mirco Dondi, Prue Jeffries

Filming: Prue Jeffries, Mirco Dondi, Elaine Colandrea

Video Creaton: Prue Jeffries

Music: Il palazzo interiore ( “The inner palace”) by Morena Boschetto

Poem: “Anatomy” by Noelle Adamo

Produced by Elaine Colandrea for Watermark Arts