Conservation Lands: Bodies in Space and Place

Taught by Cathy Nicoli

August 1319, 2017

(The Cathy Nicoli workshop replaces Susan Rethorst, who was obliged to cancel for health reasons.)

This workshop will help guide dance makers through explorations of the body in both indoor and outdoor spaces, highlighting the reciprocal relationship between bodies and the landscapes that hold and sustain them. Choreography will be a vehicle for conserving the distinctiveness of the choreographer, the dancer, and the locale itself — conserving the resonance of a sensation, the essence of an image, a particular act of embodiment.

Bearnstow's environment will help catalyze studies in Body, Effort, Space, and Shape and will help reflect the inherent commonalities of the human body, its movement patterns, and the landscapes it inhabits. The phenomena of Time will also be ex­plored as we consider our reaction to light, the time of day, rhythm, and durational phrases. The objective: to attend to the kinetic landscape of ourselves while honoring the natural landscapes that support, frame, and hold us — to see ourselves, even our imaginations and choices, as part of the ecosystem rather than separate from it.

The week will culminate in an informal showing based on our studio and site-specific choreographic inquiries and discoveries.


Cathy Nicoli is Associate Professor of Dance and Performance Studies at Roger Wil­liams University. In addition to her practice of contemporary dance, improvisation, and composition; social and environmental justice play a significant role in her work as an artist and educator. Cathy received her MFA in Dance at Smith College on a teach­ing fellowship, is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst and Bartenieff Funda­mentals™ practitioner, and trained by the Mark Morris Dance Company to teach dance to Parkin­son’s patients. Cathy has taught at Keene State College and the Five College Dance Department, and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Hamp­shire College (2005–2008). Cathy was Co-Artistic Director of Groundwerx Dance Theatre, an original mem­ber of elephant JANE dance, and director of Bearnstow's Day Camp for children. She has performed her choreography at a variety of venues such as the Kennedy Center, London's National Theater, and in Ben Folds Five's MTV video Underground. This work­shop is part of her current research highlighting the importance of both wild landscapes and open imaginations — defending the conservation of both such landscapes is necessary for sustained existence.

Contact cnicoli@rwu.edu for more information.

Apply for this workshop now:  Workshop Registration Form — Summer 2017