This August – Somatic Cinema!

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This August, Watermark Arts is thrilled to adventure into a new medium of creative exchange – the Zoom film premiere! We invite you to reserve your place in the virtual audience as we share two new films with subjects quite dear to me.

Materadancescapes
Sunday, August 16, 1 – 2 PM EDT 

A trio of short dance films responding to the canyons and caverns of Matera in southern Italy, a site steeped in mythology and human history as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Q&A with choreographer Elaine Colandrea, filmmaker Prue Jeffries, composer Morena Boschetto, and performers Claudia Catani and Naomi Walker will follow the films. Special guests Teresa Barbaro and Paolo Montagna will join live from Matera to speak about the distinctive features of the film location.

Susan Harper
Heart of Continuum

Sunday, August 23, 1 – 2:30 PM EDT 

A cinematic celebration of Susan’s extraordinary life journey.
Born in Africa to missionary parents, Susan began her devoted exploration of Continuum with Emilie Conrad in 1975, partnering with her in various ways until Emilie’s death in 2014. Continuum Montage, Susan’s lifework, began as a record company and grew into the full expression of the innovative somatic practices born of Susan’s deep inquiries and collaborative nature. Susan Harper, Heart of Continuum was created to honor Susan’s 70th birth year. A birthday toast with Susan will follow the film.

Reservations are limited for these one-time-only events. Reserve by clicking on the designated premiere buttons below. I hope to see you at Materadancescapes, Susan Harper, or best of all – both!

With enormous excitement,
Elaine and the Watermark Arts Creative Team

View the newsletter here.

What ignites you? Fire, the great transformer

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A note from Elaine

Fire, the great transformer, is the fourth and final installation in Watermark Arts’ Elemental Art exhibit. Whatever fire touches is altered forever by the intensity of its blaze. Yet, fire is a vital part of life’s rhythm. Just as we inspire and expire, we ignite and extinguish.

I often associate fire with creative passion, which led me to reflect on the meaning of these words:

  • heat: energy transferred from one body to another
  • art: the transfer of human imagination to an expressive form
  • heat + art = heart: the vital part or essence of a body or form

Is fire at the heart of the creative spirit? What sparks your curiosity and interest? What ignites you?

In the spirit of renewal,

Elaine

PS – Stay tuned for dates announcing two exciting Zoom film premieres. Watermark Arts will bring you Celebrating Susan Harper, Celebrating Continuum Montage and Materadancescapes.

View the newsletter here.

Elemental Moving Body, an online Continuum Workshop

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ELEMENTAL MOVING BODY

5 week online Continuum Workshop 

with Elaine Colandrea and Megan Bathory Peeler

Presented by Shantigar Foundation and Watermark Arts

5 Wednesday morning gatherings: July 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 10:00am – 12:30pm EDT

Suggested Tuition: $249, or pay what you will.  No one turned away for lack of funds.

Please register here.

 

Elaine Colandrea and Megan Bathory-Peeler unite again to bring you the magical delights of Continuum steeped in the beauty of nature at Shantigar in Rowe, MA. This July, our focus is on the 4 elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water.


We will connect to explore together in a Zoomscape gathering once a week on Wednesday mornings 10:00 am-12:30 pm. In between gatherings, we will endeavor to inspire you with artful movement films we made this spring in order to bring Shantigar to you. We will help deepen your practice with guided moving meditation videos you can work with on your own also filmed at Shantigar.


Elemental Moving Body is a five-week workshop that allows for personalization and flexibility in this unusual time of the pandemic.

This workshop invites us to extend the scope of our ability to connect inside ourselves, outside in nature, and through time and space with one another.

 

About the Teachers

Elaine Colandrea explores how the somatic arts shape consciousness, inform and inspire the creative process, and foster connections with nature, organically creating a more humane world.

Elaine is the artistic director of Watermark Arts. She is also a movement artist, Continuum teacher, somatic educator, and massage therapist. Her work has been deeply influenced by her association with Emilie Conrad, founder of Continuum. Her abiding passion is bringing people together to directly experience the body’s transformative capacity.

Megan Bathory-Peeler is a somanaut – a professional explorer of the body.A compassionate listener and a life-long lover of movement, consciousness, connection, communication, and self-knowledge, she is deeply committed to supporting health holistically through embodied awareness for people of all ages.

Interdisciplinary and curious by nature, Megan’s own Somanautiko approach to embodied self-care grew out of her inquiries as a movement artist, choreographer, bodyworker, somatic therapist/educator, and teacher of Continuum. She offers private sessions in her Western Massachusetts office, classes and workshops throughout New England, and intensive programs in Europe.

Learn more.

Harness Water’s Wisdom to respond to global challenges

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A note from Elaine

Water Wisdom, the third installment in Watermark Arts’ elemental art exhibit, is a tribute to the transformational powers of water. Our bodies are saturated with this extraordinary substance. Immerse yourself in Water Wisdom and bathe in your innate potentiality

As 2020 began, fires raged in many parts of the world. Watermark Arts responded with the Water Blessing Project, our yearlong dedication to life-giving water.

Now as Midsummer approaches, life beckons us to step into nature and reconnect with nourishing Water Blessing experiences, whether individually or responsibly in a small group.

As you convene with water, consider harnessing its wisdom to respond to the global challenges of this time. For many, fire has returned this week, setting streets and souls ablaze. Our hearts go out to all who are affected by long-standing racism.

In our search for reducing fragmentation and restoring wholeness, the practice of becoming like water offers a path of inquiry. We hope our gallery serves as a resource.

View the newsletter here.

Please join us,

Elaine Colandrea Prue Jeffries Sandra Capellaro Rori Smith
Artistic Director Creative Director Galleries Administrator Editor

Image: Prue Jeffries, CosmoBeing. Image below: David Gilbert, Immersion

Welcoming artist, poet Amber Elizabeth Gray

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Dr. Amber Elizabeth Gray is a human rights psychotherapist and a pioneer in the use of Dance Movement Therapy, Continuum and Somatic Psychology with complex trauma, political violence, and disaster. She leads eco-somatic retreats with humans, animals, and the earth and ocean mothers, to inspire embodied regenerative activism.

 

 

Friend 

Comfort is mirrored
In your gaze. Refuge is this
Familiar place. Friend.

Visit Amber’s gallery for her full bio and more haiku.

“Writing haiku anchors me to my soul when the ocean becomes a tempest.” ~ Amber Elizabeth Gray

 

EarthArt Exhibit, deepening connection to our primal home

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Dear friends,

First and foremost, I hope this newsletter finds you well.

With joy I bring you EarthArt, the second installation of Watermark Arts’ elemental art exhibition. This four-part series features photographs, film, haiku, poetry and movement meditations through which to deepen your connection to our primal home, Planet Earth. I hope EarthArt provides you with nourishment and support just as the ever-present ground beneath us provides the many nutrients we need for life on earth to flourish.

With sadness I am letting you know that Somatic Movement Summit V: The Elemental Nature of the Body at The Omega Institute will not occur this summer due to the pandemic. For many, the summit is a special time and place to share with a kindred community where we drop deeply into our internal nature. I am reminded of a quote from Bahauddun, father of Rumi, “What moves in the heart gathers and becomes manifest.” I know in my heart the impulse and energy of the summit gathering will take new forms for this new time.

From the NY Hudson Valley, where spring greenery is emerging from the moist and muddy earth,

View the newsletter here.

Elaine

Image above: Niki Berg, The Flowers – Three Poppies

Light as Air – an Interactive Art Exhibit

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A note from Elaine

As our lives adapt in response to a virus which profoundly affects the breath of humanity, I am drawn to share with you an inquiry on the element “Air”.

How do the movements of air, within us and around us, provide both symbolic and biological nourishment?

While we all learn to navigate in radically altered life circumstances, I offer this newsletter as a gentle current of fresh air for you to inhale.

From the Watermark Arts galleries, I invite you to meditate on somatically-inspired artistic expressions of Air. Along with artwork, poetry, music and dance, there are invitations to inhabit your own breathing – the most primary and defining movement of life.

At this time, I do not know if the beautiful offering we are planning at the Omega Institute this summer, The Somatic Movement Summit V: The Elemental Nature of the Body, will be able to occur in its proposed format. Omega, the faculty and I continue the planning process. If you are also hoping to participate in this event, please reach out. It would be helpful to know of your interest.

In the meantime, I offer you soul-sustaining art and somatic practice.

Exhaling,

Elaine

Image above: Niki Berg, Threads of Grace 4

View the newsletter here.

Being Called to Matera

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A magazine photograph of a renovated cave room in Basilicata, Italy, intrigued me. Every cell of my being knew I had to be there. All obstacles dissolved and in no time at all, I was transported from my home in the Hudson Valley of New York to the southern Italian town of Matera.

Image by Prue Jeffries. Naomi Walker, Claudia Catani & Elaine Colandrea with San Falcione and Matera in the distance, from Materadancescapes film Chiaroscuro.

I have followed that call for over 15 years, making pilgrimages to Matera to retreat into what I call earth wombs, caves that were once sea beds, with shells and fossilized sponges embedded in the curved limestone walls. This locale has cradled me in the breath, sound and movement explorations of Continuum – a biological awareness practice based on the fluid nature of all life.

Image by Prue Jeffries. From left to right: Claudia Catani, Elaine Colandrea and Naomi Walker in San Falcione from the Materadancescapes film Chiaroscuro.

Image by Prue Jeffries. From left to right: Claudia Catani, Elaine Colandrea and Naomi Walker in San Falcione from the Materadancescapes film Chiaroscuro.

Matera has nourished my soul in transrational, inexplicable ways. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being a troglodyte settlement in harmonious relationship with the environment, as well as the 2019 European Capital of Culture, Matera has been continuously inhabited since Neanderthal times with a history of providing refuge for spiritual seekers.

Image by Prue Jeffries. Elaine Colandrea in Materadancescapes film The Heart of the Cave.

I wanted to transmit my experience of being there – of wandering the shepherd’s paths on the steep, thyme-scented hillsides, of sheltering in ancient, frescoed cave churches known as rupestri with my fingertips touching the furrows of long ago pilgrims’ carved crosses in the cave walls. The vastness of the Murgia plateau under the strong Mediterranean sun, the fields of asphodels in springtime flower, the falcons swooping and diving in the ever-present wind currents – all of this and more I had absorbed and wanted to share with others.

Image by Prue Jeffries. Materas’ Murgia from Materadancescapes film Chiaroscuro.

As a dancer, my own sensed experience was my place of beginning. Like other artists, investigators and shamans, I know things by becoming them. A creative collaborator once wrote that in another time and place, I would be a temple dancer. The limestone caves and landscape of Matera – sacred places of refuge, discovery and sustenance – resonated for me as the temple for this dancer. An American by birth, with grandparents of southern Italian heritage, I embarked on conveying to others the healing this locale offered me, the inspiration for communitas I found there, and the deep sense of home I discovered in Matera – all of which grew into Materadancescapes.

Image by Prue Jeffries. Nature in the Murgia from Materdancescapes film Chiaroscuro.

In this endeavor, I have been assisted by many along the way. Watermark Arts Creative Director and heartfelt collaborator Prue Jeffries traveled with me to Matera, along with her trusty drone “Stella” and video equipment. With an intrepid sense of adventure, she has filmed and documented my journey, along with her own perceptive and artful eye for nature in this compelling landscape. Spending days with footage, the Materadancescapes film collection has come into form under her loving attention.

Elaine Colandrea

Photo by Prue Jeffries. Elaine Colandrea in Parco Murgia Timone, Matera.

A number of people native to Matera have served as loving guides to this land of cave churches. Damiano Scalcione was the first person to generously welcome me to Matera, and has continued to do so with every visit. Claudia DiPerna, along with her husband Michele Cenzone, opened my eyes to many of the cultural features of Matera. Michele Cappiello and Maria Teresa Barbaro graciously and kindly offered their vast knowledge of the local nature, history and culture. Paolo Montagna, Director CEA, made arrangements for us to film in Parco Murgia where Chiaroscuro was created at the San Falcione location. Francesco Catucci hosted us for the filming of In the Heart of the Cave. Since my first visit to Matera, Antonio Panetta of Locanda di San Martino, along with the devoted staff, has provided me with a gorgeous location for visits and workshops and made me feel at home. Each of these individuals has gone way beyond themselves to support me while I am in Matera. I treasure them as friends of my heart, fellow pilgrims in the journey of life.

Elaine Colandrea, February 2020

View the Materadancescapes Collection.