|E a r t h d a n c e
Inspiring the art and spirit of improvisation
EARTHDANCE is an artist-run workshop, residency, and retreat center located in the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts. We provide a dynamic mix of dance, somatic, and interdisciplinary arts training, with a focus on sustainable living, social justice, and community. Earthdance has been spearheading innovative arts programming, and maintaining a beautiful facility for rental groups in the Pioneer Valley for over two decades. Our diverse, year-round programs include: dance workshops; yoga retreats; interdisciplinary, ecological and somatic art festivals & residencies; Contact Improvisation jams; ROOT, a local class series; a year-round Artist Residency P rogram; and our New Performance Series. Our facilities include two large and sunny studios with maple floors, meeting space, meditation and massage rooms, 100 acres of woods, streams, trails and a wood-fired sauna.
Earthdance cultivates dance and the art of improvisation. Through experiential learning and creative exchange, we strengthen connections between people, communities, and the earth.
Earthdance is an artist-run residential dance retreat center located in rural Western Massachusetts. We provide a dynamic environment for community, dance, and the natural environment to live together. Over time, we have cultivated a diverse program that runs year-round, including workshops, festivals, artist residencies, performances, outreach projects, conferences, specialized local events, public talks, and internships. Earthdance also provides facilities for group and individual retreats whose purposes both enrich and coincide with our mission.
Earthdance began as an intentional community in 1986, when a brave group of dancers, s ocial service workers, trades people, gardeners, and others took refuge from the city to work, dance, and live together. Earthdance has since expanded into a board-governed, non-profit dance retreat center, while maintaining a strong community base. Earthdance now employs a residential staff and provides an artistic center to many artists who have been part of building it.
As an educational center, Earthdance initiates experiential learning and artistic development. As a community gathering point, Earthdance nurtures investigation, diversity, and play. As a residence, Earthdance provides a communal setting for artists and staff to develop their artistic, vocational, and interpersonal skills. And, as an international hub, Earthdance galvanizes interdisciplinary practice for artists and students from around the world.
With our commitment to accessibility and social justice, we strive to provide educational opportunities for a socio-economically diverse, multi-generational, and international constituency. We recognize that the art we make contributes to a larger social and cultural landscape. Concerns about sustaining our natural resources guide Earthdance's programming and development – it is a commitment that both inspires our art and encourages us to explore more sustainable ways of living.
Earthdance is equally committed to art as it is to the individual process of each artist. Earthdance supports creative growth throughout many stages of artistic development – serving new dancers, working artists, emerging choreographers, teachers, and seasoned dance practitioners. By promoting regionally, nationally and internationally known artists, Earthdance attracts a global selection of participants – enriching the practices and influencing the direction of the development of dance improvisation and movement studies worldwide.
Dance. We value innovative and experimental movement practice, which is essential for the growth of the field of dance, and our understanding of the living body. We recognize that dance can equally be an art form, an integrative process, and a social forum.
Improvisation. We value improvisation as an experiential practice, both in the studio and in daily life. Improvisation cultivates skills such as ensemble thinking, play, composition techniques, and presence. One can benefit from improvisational practices as a beginner, as well as through development over a lifetime of craft.
Contact Improvisation (CI). CI is a core dance practice at Earthdance, and integral to how we live and work together. Through Contact Improvisation, we investigate our moving body, support one another, explore momentum, and experiment collectively. By hosting CI events, Earthdance is mutually effecting a regional, national and international CI scene.
Community. We value collective work, consensus-based decision making, and the cultivation of community through work and play. We believe that as we negotiate and collaborate, the practices we develop model and serve our society's development.
Embodied Intelligence. Experiential learning fosters embodied intelligence. Connectivity to physicality is useful not only for one's growth, but also for making dances, constructing buildings, having empathy, and inspiring new thinking in most realms of human activity.
Ecology. Ecology implies the relationship between our physical actions, our environment, and the social landscape. Earthdance is dedicated to researching and enacting sustainable and durable building practices. We value sustainability in our facilities, our programming, and our daily activities, and through this, the stewardship of our land.
Artist-Run. A core of residential staff integrates artistic practice with everyday work commitments. The staff and artists who collectively organize Earthdance activities uphold our values and are an integral part of furthering our mission and vision.
Cultural Exchange . Making art is a form of making culture. Earthdance offers opportunities for intercultural, inter-regional, interdisciplinary and international exchange. Through providing diverse programming, Earthdance cultivates vehicles for creative process that supports an inclusive and pluralistic society.
Access. We provide options for accessibility and affordability in all of our programs.
Local Community . We value the concept of ‘think globally, act locally'. We offer a variety of programming focused on developing dialogues amongst our local communities, both on our land and at regional community centers.
Social Justice. We value non-violence and social justice in our community building practices. We believe society can be strengthened through dance and community praxis. We reflect these ideals in our organization, programs, and participatory practices.