Performance: What is Refuge? Che Cos’è il Rifugio?

Choreographer & Performer: Elaine Colandrea
Music: Original music score, Music in the Frequency of 432 hz by Morena Boschetto
Videographer & Editor: Prue Jeffries

Artist’s Statement: A sculpture of a peasant woman captured my attention in a museum in Matera, Italy. Matera, where this dance film was created,  is a UNESCO World Heritage site recognized for being a troglodyte settlement in harmonious relationship with the environment. I placed myself in the contadina’s exact position in an attempt to comprehend my fascination with her. Once I took on her form, I discovered her secret and decided to bring her story to life – a universal story of all who can’t breath, all who seek refuge. Filmed in San Falcione, Matera, in response to this unique limestone landscape of caves. Filmed with permission in San Falcione, Parco Murgia Timone, Matera, Italy. Special thanks to Ente Parco Della Murgia Materana. Two additional films make up the Materadancescapes Collection: In the Heart of the Cave (2.35 min) and Chiaroscuro (5.53 min)

Elaine Colandrea is a dancer/choreographer, Continuum teacher,  somatic educator, and bodyworker. Based in the Hudson Valley of New York, Elaine also teaches regularly in Italy and has been an invited presenter/performer at ISMETA, the Omega Institute, and Shantigar Foundation. Elaine’s primary interests have always been the transformational aspects of movement, the connection with the natural world, and a belief that artful embodiment creates a more humane society. As artistic director of Watermark Arts, Elaine oversees a virtual website gallery featuring artists from every medium, produces live performances, visual art exhibits, video works, an online journal, conferences, and workshops that bring together her two passions – somatic awareness and art. Elaine has an M.A.in dance from Columbia University (1982) and was certified as a massage therapist by the Muscular Therapy Institute (1988.) www.elainecolandrea.com & www.watermarkarts.org

Watermark Arts brings together somatic awareness and artistic expression in the belief that both
are essential aspects in creating a more humane and peaceful world. The word soma, from the Greek somatikos, implies a fullness of presence in the sensate body. With awareness of the integrity of the body, comes a felt experience of the interconnection of all living things as part of a larger whole. In our technologically-advanced era, somatic explorers exist near the cultural edge, holding this way of wholeness in the face of a widespread and pervasive sense of fragmentation. Artists, too, live at the edge of culture, working with revolutionary ideas and symbolic messages encoded in their creations. As culture creators throughout history, artists have brought about substantive, peaceful change in society. Watermarks asks, What happens when creative acts are informed by somatic awareness? Can we bring into being a world permeated by a sense of wholeness and interconnection?

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