Water Blessing

ElaineWatermark Arts Videos, Water Blessing Project, News

 

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/

Amber Elizabeth Gray on Continuum & the Creativity of Health

ElaineWatermark Arts Videos, Continuum & the Creativity of Health Series, News

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.

Tree Tryst

ElaineWatermark Arts Videos, News

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.

Dancers/Movers
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

ElaineWatermark Arts Videos, News

 

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

Val Leoffler on Continuum & the Creativity of Health

AdminWatermark Arts Videos, Continuum & the Creativity of Health Series, News

Continuum teacher and bodyworker Val Leoffler discusses a creative approach to healing in her work with clients, as well as in her own recovery from a brain tumor. (6.08 min)

 

Continuum & The Creativity of Health interview with Val Leoffler (video transcript):

There’s a way in which Continuum, as it keeps that practice of being able to drop down in, provides a kind of nourishment that is the essence of healing. Being able to come home to my breath, my sound, my movement, I will be able to continue to fall back into a practice. You know, having been ill or having a severe injury can be a very isolating process. That’s why fundamentally for me this work is about being able to come not just into that pause, but in the moment of being able to feel into how I can build a relationship with myself, with my own self-touch with the touch of my environment. How I am in relationship with props that I might use, with my own internal dialogue, or in the act of being witnessed.

I want to say something about complexity. You know, I had my own healing journey, nine years ago when I was so grateful from having had a brain tumor and brain surgery and the result was losing the use of my leg and not having full sensation. To be able to fall back into my teaching practice and my own practice with Continuum was everything! And it was a deeply creative act because I’m dealing with the unknown and dealing with the uncertainty of the unknown.

When I got out of the hospital and was starting my recovery I was giving myself lots of attention about just restoring breath. It had nothing to do, as we would say in regular physical therapy, with the injury site which was hip down to foot, but had to do with knowing that for the recovery of surgery [I had to] really open up; I remembered my breath and remembered my lateral lines and my diaphragm – all to help with the sense of overwhelm that can happen in any situation.

I never approached myself as a problem that needed to be solved. This wasn’t something that had to be fixed. This was more the openness to it – like I’m not attached to what happens here, but I’m going to listen and really love that […]

And then I have an ongoing continuing practice of working with different breaths and different sounds. I remember specifically because I couldn’t stand, of working with having my foot against the wall, and being able to feel into it. I couldn’t keep my foot up with the wall first, but being able to at least press it against where I was laying down and be able to get that sense of some contact there, and feeling into it. Which is how I work a lot if I’m working with somebody on kind of a problem of having again a relationship. [We work on] being able to play into that and go into that.

Whenever I’m traveling and in a new town or a city that has a lot of walls or buildings, and I have to maybe be inside a lot during the day, I’m always trying to find out where the greenbelt is, if there’s a little tree that I could go find or a water way or a park or something like that, just to be able to be in nature, to remind me of my own nature. And I realized that what I’m doing in my Continuum practice is that I’m finding that greenbelt inside myself. And being able to feel where life is continually yearning to regenerate and bubble forth.

You know, we come from a culture where a person [is] a problem. That’s one thing that I didn’t do, I never approached myself as a problem that needed to be solved. This wasn’t something that had to be fixed. This was more the openness to – like I’m not attached to what happens here, but I’m going to listen and really love that, and that’s just the baseline, that has to be said.

I’m appreciating a lot the Japanese culture’s art of kintsugi where they work when a bowl has cracked, to be able to restore the crack in the bowl not by making it invisible and just gluing it together but by putting gold in the crack. And when that happens, that becomes a piece of art. And so there is the beauty in that healing and the beauty in that value of the complexification that has happened in what we might say a person that has been wounded or a person that has been working through something that it’s now at value because it has deepened, its layers have deepened.

Watermark Arts performance at The Sanctuary, Omega 2019

ElaineWatermark Arts Videos, Watermark Arts Performances

 

Watermark Arts performance evening held at The Sanctuary, Omega Institute, July 4th, 2019 during The Somatic Movement Summit: The Creativity of Health, Mirroring Nature.

Performances & Artists

Violinist Rachel Evans performing Ciacccona in A Minor by J.H.Schmelzer

Poet Raine Brown, reading “The Soil of Myself”, with Continuum chorus Bea Ehrsam, Lauren Grady, Nicole Faustini, Lila Greene, Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell and Rori Smith.

Water Blessing, choreographed by Elaine Colandrea.
Elaine Colandrea, Bea Ehrsam, Lauren Grady, Nicole Faustini, Melanie Gambino, Lila Greene, Meredith Johnson, Elisabeth Osgood-Campbell, Rori Smith, Kori Tolbert

Melanie Gambino in Nijinsky.

Filming & Editing by Prue Jeffries

Unveiling Continuum, with Elaine Colandrea

AdminWatermark Arts Videos, Continuum Demonstrations

“I don’t know how to define what a ‘life force’ is, but I know when I feel really alive.” – Elaine Colandrea (4 min.)

In words and movement, Elaine Colandrea on how Continuum helps her “meet the moment to moment unfolding of life,” an essential skill for meeting the challenges of life in this fast paced, often overwhelming, world of options. Continuum develops “inner authority” by connecting with the most primary level of knowledge – the sensory systems. Includes demo of the life force itself in motion after preparing with a breathing and sounding preparation – this movement expression is unique to each person, each time – and a source of renewal.

 

Unveiling Continuum (video transcript):

We live in a time where you can google, you can look up anything. What I feel is missing is something that can be found in somatic practice. Because in somatic practice what we’re really doing is, we’re googling ourselves in the practice of Continuum. I drop into the most primary level of awareness, my senses, my breathing.

I think when most of us think about our inner world, we think about the cognitive mind, the way we think, the actions of the neocortex. This is a later evolutionary development. Before that was the limbic system, our emotional world. But somatic practice takes us into a deeper, more ancient system of knowing, developing inner awareness, an inner authority, a trust, a confidence in how to meet the moment to moment unfolding of life.

In Continuum there are breath, sound and movement guidelines, we call them explorations. Within the exploration each person is listening deeply into themselves to that whole inner sensory world, and shaping their movement, their experience within the guidelines. So, each person is on their own journey, their own journey of discovery, their own journey of the life force itself unfolding. Not in service to the actions of survival which are necessary and wonderful. But as a way of really resourcing, reviving, refreshing oneself. I don’t know how to define what a life force is, but I know when I feel really alive.

Continuum brings me to a place of understanding my true nature, which is the mirror of nature all around me. What happens when more people experience the sense of wholeness and interconnection? What is the impact on our cultural evolution? What kind of culture can we create from people who are somatically aware?

If you’re interested in learning how to regulate yourself so that you can move through this extraordinary fast pace – fascinating but sometimes overwhelming – world with trust in yourself with a sense of your own ground, and the wholeness of your whole being, you might consider joining me and an amazing faculty of Continuum teachers this summer at Omega for the Somatic Movement Summit.

Mirroring Nature — A Continuum Meditation in Movement

ElaineWatermark Arts Videos


The growth patterns of all life forms, from plants to animals,
involve folding, unfolding, spreading and gathering.
Continuum movers explore these universal fluid movements
in the Medicine Wheel at Gufieallodole, Monteveglio, Italia.

Filmed & edited by Prue Jeffries for Watermark Arts. With Elaine Colandrea (US),
Mirco Dondi (IT), and Naomi Walker (FR). Original music by Morena Boschetto (IT).