Welcome to Watermark Arts

Watermark Arts brings together somatic awareness and artistic expression in the belief that both are essential aspects in creating a more humane and peaceful world.

The word soma, from the Greek somatikos, implies a fullness of presence in the living, sensate, wholeness of bodily being. With awareness of the integrity of the body, comes a felt experience of the interconnection of all living things as part of a larger whole.

In our modern, technologically-advanced era, somatic explorers exist near the cultural edge, holding this way of wholeness in the face of a widespread and pervasive sense of fragmentation.

Artists, too, live at the edge of culture, working with revolutionary ideas and symbolic messages encoded in dance, poetry, stories, music and visual art. As culture creators throughout history, artists have brought about substantive, peaceful change in society.

These times call on us to become generators of the culture we wish to live in. Creative acts show up in all aspects of life — in art, in teaching, in community-building. Watermarks asks, What happens when these creative acts are informed by somatic awareness? Can we bring into being a world permeated by a sense of wholeness and interconnection?

Elaine Colandrea
Artistic Director

Enlight and Desert Waves #3, Photographs by Prue Jeffries

Coming next summer at Omega

Somatic Movement Summit, June 30 - July 5, 2019

The Creativity of Health: Mirroring Nature

Health is not a stable state. Living at the center of a complex and changing set of circumstances, how do we nourish our well-being?

The somatic movement practice of Continuum teaches us to engage more willingly, effectively, and artfully with our circumstances. In sequences of breath, sound, and movement, Continuum brings us back to the fluid nature that runs through the natural world, encouraging us to remain curious and engaged.

This retreat, with focused movement sessions throughout the week as well as a period of silence, fosters the integration of Continuum practice into intentional art making, verbal expression and core experience of the world. Retracing in movement the evolutionary journey that has brought humankind to this place and time, we gain a powerful perspective and recover key elements of our cosmic, fluid, and terrestrial origins, which become resources for our current personal and cultural situations.

The somatic skills shared in this workshop are of benefit to anyone interested in embodied engagement with issues of health and well-being. Continuing education (CE) credits forbodyworkers. Childcare available.

Host Elaine Colandrea with Priscilla Auchincloss, Robin Becker, John Bianculli, Ellen Cohen, Suzanne Wright Crain, Bobbie Ellis, Ashima Kahrs, Melanie Gambino, Bonnie Gintis, Amber Elizabeth Gray, Linda Rabin Beth Riley, Val Leoffler, and Sharon Weil

Registration information: eomega.orginfo@watermark-arts.org — watermarkarts.org


The Watermark Arts Newsletter

The Creativity of Community

The Creativity of Community

A Note from Elaine:

First, I want to remind you about The Somatic Movement Summit: The Creativity of Health, Mirroring Nature, June 30 to July 5, at the Omega Institute and why it matters.

What happens at Omega is a rare kind of community, a confluence of intelligent streams that creates something beyond what any individual could do alone.

Perhaps it comes from the people drawn to the somatic adventure of Continuum. Perhaps it comes from a group of teachers so steeped in this work that you learn as much from how they communicate as what they say. The connecting element is Continuum itself, fostering mutual respect between people, as it brings awareness to the fluid intelligence moving in each of them.

In such a community, fresh ideas emerge, personalities blossom, and faith in humanity, as a living system of nature, can be restored. This retreat has several features designed to enhance your experience: small-group learning/exchanging “pods,” opportunities for private time with experienced practitioners, plus a full day and evening of Continuum “silence”, so you can attune to the underlying rhythms of your being.

The Somatic Movement Summit has filled in each of the past three years, so please register early to ensure your place.

Additionally, I am pleased to share with you the second video in our series on Continuum & The Creativity of Health, with Omega 2019 faculty member, Bonnie Gintis.

Last but not least, Watermark Arts welcomes Lali Jurowsky, whose striking artwork graces this message. Scroll down for more from Lali and visit her gallery on our website.

Moved with gratitude,
Elaine Colandrea, with the Watermark Arts Creative Team

Read the newsletter here.

The new issue of the Watermark Arts Journal

Visit here to view the new issue of the Watermark Arts Journal, Continuum & Creativity: Poetry, Art and Interviews.

The films of Hanna Heiting

Filmmaker Hanna Heiting has made available to Watermark Arts three films that emerged from her friendship with Emilie Conrad, as well as from Hanna’s own experience of Continuum.

This remarkable triad begins with Em Moves, an intimate portrait of Emilie as ground-breaking teacher, mentor and mover. The Many Faces is a treasure of interviews with people whose lives Emilie touched. Alphabet follows the “Words and Waves” workshop process combining Continuum and creative writing.

From Hanna Heiting:

“Emilie Conrad’s understanding of culture, body and the cosmos has changed my own philosophical investigation, but as a filmmaker, I am fascinated with her unique gifts of communication. Emilie conveys information, both scientific and mystical, in all the myriad artistic means she commands. The fluttering of her articulate fingers, her passionate resonance with Nijinsky and her unpredictable bursts of humor transform every presentation and demonstration into a divine ancient and modern theatrical art.

“In classes as well as performances, her life story brought me back to myself, just as her sound frequencies affected mine before I did any sounding or movements of my own. The making of the film was not about documenting the precious fleeting moments, but rather a continuation of the movement that I felt inside me while watching her.

“My interests lie not in talking about Continuum but in finding ways to express as honestly and simply as I can what touched me most about it as a transformative and creative process.

“The film attained its form and structure when I made editorial decisions about the parts of Emilie’s powerful and triumphant story that I chose to focus on, but it felt complete only when I was watching it for the thousandth and one time and found myself moving and breathing with it.”

Read more about Hanna here.


In the Heart of the Cave

Filmed on location in Matera, Southern Italy, a Unesco World Heritage site and European Cultural Capital for 2019. The cave town of Matera is one of the earth's oldest civilizations, inhabited continuously since Neolithic times. The landscape of Matera is filled with rupestri, or cave churches, which have drawn spiritual seekers for millennia.

NY based choreographer and dancer Elaine Colandrea, whose grandparents are from the Basilicata region of Southern Italy, performs In the Heart of the Cave.  She has taught Continuum in these beautifully renovated earth wombs for well over a decade.

Music: AVE - Composed by Morena Boschetto with vocals from Simona Arbizzani & Morena Boschetto.

Filmed & edited by Prue Jeffries

A Watermark Arts project - first in a series filmed in Matera in 2018.

Visit our galleries

Watermark Arts galleries currently feature fifty artists representing all artistic media. We will continue to grow in 2018 with more somatically inspired art. Please use the menu at the top to visit galleries and learn more about individual artists, or click on any image in the slideshow.  You can see all the artists on this page.


What’s happening?

We are grateful for the love of movement you share with us.

Paintings: Cosmic Breast Spiral and Ocean Birthings by Satya Kirsch

Somatic Movement Summit: The Creativity of Health, Mirroring Nature, June 30 – July 5, 2019

Watermark Arts will return to Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY in summer 2019.
Learn More


Watermark Arts Performances

Featured Artist

Welcoming New Artist

Continuum & Creativity Interview Series

Watermark Arts in Italy

The Dream that led to Watermark Arts, by Elaine Colandrea

The name and vision for Watermark Arts came to me in a dreamThe dream became a dance, which was photographed by Phyllis McCabe in July 2017.

Opening image: Kathy Cassens photograph, Morphic Memory, choreography Elaine Colandrea. Contact page: The Nature of the Body video by Elaine Colandrea