The Art & Magic of Contact Improvisation

Facilitated by: Chaya Leia Aronson and Justis Hatch

August 22-25, 2024

We invite you to dance art within art with us. To spend a weekend with beloved dancer friends, exploring movement as Art and Magic. When we open our channels, dance is a place we can find connection to Divinity.  

The Sacred Mirrors are a set of paintings by Alex Grey, that represent layers of identity that we peel off of ourselves as we explore what we truly are. What is true when you touch another person? What is it to act as if all life is art? How can we create dances that are more than personal? How can we explore mark making in the ephemeral state that is dance?

Within the realm of Divine Magic, it so happens that CoSM, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, is down the road from Wildheart. We will base ourselves at Wildheart, and spend a day at CoSM amidst the magic of Alex and Allyson Grey’s visionary artwork. 

As visionary artists, Alex and Allyson Grey’s artwork bridges the worlds of science, spirituality and art with the nature of the soul. Contact improvisation when skillfully applied can be such a practice as well. When we take the dance beyond our individual desires and explore how our relationships can support one another we elevate our dance into the realm of the soul. 

We are both excited to share this time and space with you, our beloved community, in dance, prayer and love, supported and hosted by our dear wildhearts.

The art and soul of contact improvisation.

Contact improvisation is an art form that allows for the possibility of deep personal introspection as well as an inquiry into our relationships with one another. During this workshop we will have the divine privilege of dancing amidst the artwork of Alex Grey. We will spend the afternoon creating dances inside the chapel of sacred mirrors. The sacred mirrors are paintings that represent layers of identity that we peel off of ourselves as we explore what we truly are. What is true when you touch another person? What is it to act as if all life is art? How can we create dances that are more than personal? What is the line that changes a dance into art? How can we explore mark making in the ephemeral state that is dance? What is it to leave a mark on this world?

Alex Grey’s artwork bridges the worlds of science and spirituality and art to create something that is visionary, something that explores the nature of the soul. Contact improvisation when skillfully applied can be such a practice. When we take the dance beyond our individual desires and explore how our relationships can support one another we elevate our dance into the realm of the soul. and we look at the space as an entirety relationships between ourselves each other and the space so that we are all dancing. We are creating a work of art together.

Sample Schedule:

Arrivals on 8/22 between 2-4pm,
Departures on 8/25 between 2-4pm after lunch clean

8:30 am – 9:30 am Breakfast
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Open Jam with warm up (Saturday jam at CoSM)
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch (Saturday picnic lunch at CoSM)
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Class / open time in nature (Saturday, Art exploration in the Chapel)
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Dinner
8:00 pm – 10:00 Jam / hang time

Who is it for?

Contact improvisation enthusiasts. This is open to beginners as well as long time practitioners of CI.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people will be there?
20-35 maximum

What will I get out of this retreat?
Inspiration, dance, joy, connection to self and others, the opportunity to visit the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors and be surrounded by incredible art.

Will we be dancing outside?
Our dancing will predominantly take place in the studios and we are always open to random scores.

Do I need to have CI experience to attend?
Ideally, participants will have at least beginners level CI experience. 

Can I bring my children?
Reach out to Chaya directly if you are interested in bringing children. If there are enough interested folks we may be able to offer a childcare option.

Facilitators

Chaya Leia Aronson, RN BSN is a mother, partner, lover and ecosensensual earth worshipping clown goddess. Chaya maintains a private practice offering Maya Abdominal Massage, Holistic Pelvic Care and Health, Movement and Sexuality coaching for well over a decade. Chaya has also facilitated a number of transformational and alchemical rituals related to grief, wombs and eros. She has great passion and skill in supporting people and relationships to have clear conversations about desires and boundaries and to unpack our wounds and traumas gently to find more capacity for love and pleasure. She connects to Divinity through Dance. Chaya maintains a private practice, where she sees clients in person and virtually, in the Northampton, MA area.
www.yoursacredpelvis.com
@yoursacredpelvis

Justis Hatch brings over 25 years of movement study and practice to his teaching. With a deep core rooted in yoga and martial arts, his teaching stems from very traditional styles including Kripalu, Bikram and Ashtanga Yoga, Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, Karate and Ju Jitsu. He bridges ancient and modern practices by integrating improvisation and contemporary thought into a very disciplined yet responsive style. Contact Improvisation has been his primary and most continuous fascination. Since first discovering the form at Earthdance in 1991 he has explored its edges through jamming, practicing, teaching, labbing and intensive residencies. Justis’s most current passion within the realm of contact improvisation is meeting another person at their core and trusting in this honest connection to break down the walls of judgment and prejudice.

Retreat Location

WildHeart is located on 46+ beautiful acres in the Hudson Valley. Retreatants will have the option to stay in a single room, double room, dorm, or camping in either our main retreat center or in private two-bedroom cabins. All options have access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Daily events will take place in the studio, shared common spaces, and outdoors. Retreatants are welcome to enjoy the lawns, walk in the forest, and swim and boat in the lake during their stay! More info about directions and transportation options HERE.

A note on food

We are able to accommodate most diets. We serve meat and dairy daily, and always have vegan and gluten-free options available. If you send us your dietary preferences in advance, we will do our best to make sure there is good food for you at each meal! All living accommodations have access to a full kitchen (separate from the main/commercial kitchen). We will provide breakfast groceries for you to prepare and eat on your own. Lunches and dinners are communal shared meals. Drinks include: coffee and tea, dairy and non-dairy milk, lemon and lime juice for water, red and white wine.

Retreat Costs

By offering a variety of housing options, and two free BIPOC spots, we hope to make this retreat financially accessible to all! Beyond that, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need financial assistance to attend: contact@wildheartcenter.art

These prices are all inclusive! You receive all retreat content and facilitation, housing, food and drinks, and access to the land, lake, and studio spaces.

Program Fee:

  • Single-occupancy (Private room in a shared house) = $599
  • Double-occupancy bedroom (per person) = $480
  • Dorm (for a bed in our spacious 5 person dorm) = $385
  • Commuter (stay offsite, eat 3 meal with us) = $305
  • Commuter (stay offsite, BYO food) = $220

BIPOC spots

We are offering 2 free spots for BIPOC folx. Please email contact@wildheartcenter.art to get the registration code for one of these spots.

Refund Policy:

In advance of 1 week – full refund (less processing fee)

Within 1 week – no refund 

Health policy 

To protect the group, please don’t come if you have any symptoms of illness

(not Covid specific but general sickness policy)

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Find out about WildHeart happenings!