This weeks Dance First Member Insight is from Earthdance Retreat in Massachusetts!

Earthdance is an arts organization and retreat center hosting workshops, artist retreats, and community programming surrounding the flow of movement and sustainability. Our organization began in 1986 when a group of dancers and artists in Boston joined together to cultivate a place for creative expression. Eventually, we blossomed into Earthdance, a thriving center that focuses on a dynamic mix of dance, somatic and interdisciplinary arts training, conscious awareness of social justice, sustainable living, and community building. The environment is woven into our methodology and embedded into our physical and spiritual practice. Today, Earthdance is an internationally recognized presenter of workshops, contact improvisation jams, performances, and community events, drawing thousands of people to the area each year. People cherish Earthdance as a home. Our volunteer program draws creative individuals from all over the world interested in contributing to community, dance, art, and the running of a vibrant nonprofit organization.

Earthdance has been at the forefront of innovative arts programming while maintaining a beautiful facility for rental groups for over three decades. Our facilities include two large and sunny studios with maple floors, meeting space, meditation and massage rooms, and more than 100 acres of woods, streams, and trails. The campus sits on 125 acres of wooded land that expands into Mass Audubon’s West Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary (part of one of the largest aggregations of conserved land in Massachusetts) and Deer Hill State Reservation, whose summit is a 1hr hike from Earthdance. Winding trails criss-cross a trickling stream (a tributary of the Westfield River). In the spring, summer, and fall, the woods teem with wildlife, providing a vivid and serene landscape for camping & exploring. In the winter, pristine snowfalls offer an idyllic setting for snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding.

Our diverse programs include dance workshops; yoga retreats; interdisciplinary, ecological and somatic art festivals & residencies; Contact Improvisation jams; an Artist Residency Program; and local programs focusing on Sustainability and Social Justice. This year’s Moving Arts Lab invites you to gather online to investigate and experience how movement, sound, image, and performance can inform human culture while responding to the current moment. With multiple workshops each day, teaching artists from the International Interdisciplinary Artists Consortium (IIAC) create an embodied, if virtual, dialogue at the intersection of modalities—movement, voice, indigenous practices, activism, working with environment / in nature, drawing, physical theater and more.

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