What is Refuge? Che Cose il Refugio?

A decade ago, I came across a sculpture of a peasant woman that captured my attention. Year after year, I would visit this rendering of a contadina in MUSMA, a sculpture museum in Matera, Italia. Being nearly the same size as each other, on one visit I decided to place myself in her exact position in an attempt to comprehend my fascination with her. Once I took on her form, I discovered her secret.

The secret slowly grew in me over time, eventually becoming the ten minute dance film, What is Refuge? Che Cose il Refugio?

Filmed in San Falcione, Matera, videographer Prue Jeffries then crafted the film. Composer Morena Boschetto contributed the musical score. We all worked in close collaboration with each other to share "her" story - a universal story of all who can't breathe, or all who seek refuge...

~ Elaine Colandrea, dancer/choreographer

Filmed with permission in San Falcione, Parco Murgia Timone, Matera, Italia.

Special thanks to Maria Teresa Barbaro & Paolo Montagna, Director CEA Matera.



ChiaroScuro, filmed by Prue Jeffries on the limestone landscape of Matera, Italy, is an elemental setting that resonates with my soul. The earth wombs, caves that were once sea beds, cradled Claudia Catani, Naomi Walker and me ~ Elaine Colandrea

Music: Stella Maris by Moby courtesy of

Filmed with permission in San Falcione, Parco Murgia Timone, Matera, Italia

Special thanks to Maria Teresa Barbaro & Paolo Montagna, Director CEA Matera

Photo Gallery from the filming of Chiaroscuro


Moving with the day and night, the light and dark, the limestone earth wafting with the fragrance of thyme opens into the soaring blue skies above San Falcione in Matera, as the evening descends the ancient limestone sea bed becomes a cradle for an embodied experience of Unity.

Photography by Prue Jeffries
Choreography by Elaine Colandrea
Performers: Claudia Catani, Elaine Colandrea, & Naomi Walker


In the Heart of the Cave; Nel Cuore della Caverna

Filmed on location in Matera, Southern Italy, a Unesco World Heritage site and European Cultural Capital for 2019. The cave town of Matera is one of the earths oldest civilizations, inhabited continuously since Neolithic times. The landscape of Matera is filled with rupestri, or cave churches, which have drawn spiritual seekers for millenia.

NY based choreographer and dancer Elaine Colandrea, whose grandparents are from the Basilicata region of Southern Italy, performs In the Heart of the Cave. She has taught Continuum in these beautifully renovated earth wombs for well over a decade.

Music: AVE - Composed by Morena Boschetto with vocals from Simona Arbizzani & Morena Boschetto.

Filmed & edited by Prue Jeffries

A Watermark Arts project - MateraDanceScapes first in the series filmed in Matera in 2018.

More Collection Films in progress & will be coming soon.