Category Archives: the dance

a gift for yourself

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Mountain Horse Farm Retreat

Conscious Touch, Conscious Movement with Horses

with Paula Josa-Jones

May 21 at 4:00pm – May 24 at 11:00am, 2019 

Reservations

This experiential workshop focuses on developing our ability to use mindful, embodied touch and movement as a way of deepening our connection with our horses. Conscious Touch, Conscious Movement supports ease and balance in the bodies of both horse and human, helping us become more aware of what we are signaling with our bodies (and minds), and more open to what the horse is offering.
 
Conscious Touch, Conscious Movement helps us experience and understand:
  • How to use movement and touch to create congruence between what we are feeling inside and what we are expressing outwardly.
  • Deepening connection, awareness and attunement with yourself and the horse.
  • Simple movements to create ease and flow in your body and that of the horse.
  • Letting go of habits of body and mind that may create unnecessary tension in you or the horse.
  • Becoming more trustworthy to yourself and the horse.
  • How to feel both giving and receiving with your hands and body.
  • Noticing when our movement and touch is transmitting inadvertent or unintentional messages.
  • Specific strategies for settling the nervous system when activated.
  • How to integrate conscious touch and conscious movement into your day-to-day activities with horses.

     for more information about Paula

 

The clinic includes 3 overnight stays. The delicious meals start with dinner on the first evening and end with breakfast on the last morning.
You will work with our herd of horses. It is not an option to bring your own. The clinic does not involve riding horses.
During the clinic no other guests but Paula and the participants will stay at Mountain Horse Farm. For sleeping, you have your choice of elegant rooms with fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs, to glamping in tipis (yes, tipis!) – your choice.  The maximum number of participants is kept low at 10 and we don’t accept auditors. To interact with the horses, you will be asked to sign waivers. Make sure you wear shoes with closed toes (no flipflops, slippers or sandals) and it’s always a good idea to dress in layers.
Mountain Horse Farm is located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region, famous for its wineries and breweries, gorgeous lakes and waterfalls. You may want to consider adding a few days to your trip to explore the area.

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tell me something

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This was a big year for Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works and for me personally. For one thing, we successfully birthed River/Body.  That project was in some ways like the baby that did not want to be born, with an ambivalent mother.  Let me be clear.  I love the project and love the river in ways that surprise me –  I had not expected to feel such an emotional and potent sense of connection to this body of moving water.

So what was the problem?  In part, trying to gather $$$ support felt a lot like herding feral cats.  People are busy, or they “don’t get it.” What is this dancing in the river anyway?  Why would you do that?  What’s wrong with the theater? Again and again, I found my nose pressed against that hard wall.

I get it.  I know that there are a thousand worthy, incredibly urgent causes.  Syria, Yemen, Central America, the looming climate catastrophe, animals that are suffering, children who are hurt, girls who are not being educated.

But I feel that we each have to find a place of inspired action within this chaos.  In this moment, mine is the river and its connection to global waters. I want to share the stunning fact (thank you Andrea Olsen) that within 16 days of living within a particular watershed, those waters literally make up the 70% of your body that is water!!!! Your relationship with your fluid neighborhood is not abstract — it is cellular, immediate.

My other place of inspired action is the horses, and what they teach us about being human.  So I am making a video documentary of the new work I am developing with horses:  Conscious Touch, Conscious Movement.  It too is connected to this fluid theme. We are 70% water, as is the horse, which in the horse translates to 770 pounds or 96 gallons of water for the average 1,100-pound horse. Conscious Touch, Conscious Movement engages the body’s fluids to open a moving connection or flowing water dance that unfolds when we shift our awareness from muscles and bones to cells and fluids. I love this new work, this subtle, potent way of dancing with horses, and I love sharing it with clients and students.

So tell me something:  How can I better reach and connect this work with others?  What are some inspired, perhaps unexplored fundraising ideas?  What is important to you in your own work and outreach? I really want to hear from you!

Thank you!

River/Body this weekend!

DSC05858Photos:  Pam White

Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm are the last days to see River/Body.  Please join us to see this beautiful water dance that is our gift to the communities that live within the Housatonic River watershed and beyond.  After all, the waters are connected and they connect us.  In fact, they flow in us as well as around us!

Tickets are FREE but attendance is limited, so reserve HERE.

 

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DSC06226Dancers:  Aislinn MacMaster, Dillon Paul, DeAnna Pellecchia, Amy Wynn with Evangeline Johns

 

River/Body is here

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On Saturday, during one of our last rehearsals for River/Body, Cole, a young student from the Marvelwood School asked us two wonderful questions.  Cole is part of a team of young videographers working with their teacher, Ben Willis to create a documentary about the making of the dance.

First, he wanted to know if we had ever considered bringing something unexpected – an object, a surprising prop – into our performance.  He observed that the scarves we manipulate are wave and water-like, but wanted to know about something “outside the box”.” Dillon, one of the dancers, loved the idea and said, “Like what?  A refrigerator?”  We all tried to think what those unexpected things might be and how that would change the performance. Actually, I think Cole just gave us an inspiration for the next iteration of River/Body.

Secondly, he wanted to know if we had ever done any kind of ‘nature-art situation” before. So we shared with him our exprience of dancing with horses.  To me, dancing the river is similar in many ways to the equine dances.  We are entering and communicating with a different physicality.  Riding the currents of that different body.  Enngaging with the body-mind of that other being.  And yes, we see and feel the river is a being.

On Sunday we had to make a firm decision about whether to perform in a river that had become so high and fast running that we could not safely dance with her.  I have known horses like that.  It is important to know the limits.  It is disappointing not to dance in the Shepaug, but we were also happy to return to the beautiful Housatonic and know that all of our performances would be held kindly by her watery body.

UPDATE: all performances will take place at North Kent Road, Kent, CT

August 18 & 19 and August 25 & 26 will be performed at the river access at North Kent Road, Kent, CT.  We are limiting attendance to protect the site and work within the concerns of the town, so you will neeed to reserve your FREE ticket HERE.

Please join us.  We have made something beautiful, something surprising, something moving.

Thank you to Housatonic Heritage, Housatonic Valley Association, Berkshire Taconic Foundation and our loving individual donors

See you at the river!

 

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