Body Awareness in Nature 1-5 august 2016

A summer intensive movement exploration with Kay Patru, Jihae Ko, Rafael Zielinski, Andrea Hackl & Sylvain Meret.

Ile d’Aix, Monday 1st to Friday 5th august 2016

Come and join the first edition of our intensive week focusing on movement exploration & dance expression in the beautiful island of Aix, France.

Five teachers will share with you their practices and their knowledge about dance, movement, somatic awareness, creativity, performance, shamanism and film making in natural environments.

The whole week will be an intensive immersion into the subtle worlds of nature. Each teacher will bring you into a personal journey through the rhythms, spaces, textures, sounds and landscapes of the island using our bodies and our awareness to dance the inner and outer worlds. Dance is a healing art; part of the journey will convey the magic of shamanic rituals, the wisdom of somatic practices and the transformational process of creativity.

The program will be articulated in daily sessions, giving room for the “here and now” as the week unfolds. Therefor we can give you the content of the week but not a precise schedule. Sessions will be held in different locations outdoors across the island and indoor in the somatic room. A daily schedule will include movement/dance practices, field explorations, sharing of knowledge, performances. Some of the movement/dance practices may be open for local people.

The project is initiated as part of a larger project called “co-creative awareness” by Sylvain, who currently lives on the island. For almost 10 years, summer retreats have generated the gathering of a small tribe interested in understanding nature, our body, and our innate wisdom. We created a camping settlement condition that supports both a low cost budget and a direct connection with the land. In this regard, we cook and share the logistic together. And we sleep in tents. [They are possibilities for other accommodations with extra costs.]


This summer intensive is open to everyone interested in movement and dance in nature regardless of professional background or dance training. We can host a maximum of 15 participants. The language will be English and translation in French.

The costs are 125-150 € for the teachings fee [sliding scale] and 15 € per day for the food and logistic expenses, [90 € midday Sunday 31 to midday Saturday 6]. The total price is 215 – 240 €. We wish to make this special journey possible to anyone interested.

We start on Monday morning 9:00 the 1st of august and finish on Friday 5th august in the evening. You’re welcome to arrive on the 30th or 31th of July and leave on Saturday 6th.

To register contact


If possible bring your tent, sleeping bag and mattress. You will need Towels, swimming clothes, a pair of shoes for dancing, sleepers, lamp torch, sweaters for wind and evenings. [We have 4 extra tents, sleeping bags and mattresses.]

The food is mainly vegetarian and organic. We organize cooking teams/ washing teams through the week. In this way, we keep low costs conditions.

To come to the island from abroad: closest airport is La Rochelle with a flight on Monday and Friday with Ryanair from Brussels-Charleroi. A regular TGV line runs from Paris to La Rochelle few times a day. From La Rochelle a boat is easily accessible to get to the island but runs only few times per day depending on the tide. [Check the timetable]

Bordeaux airport with easyjet and KLM from Amsterdam runs everyday, then a train ride of 1h45 min to Rochefort, then a bus to Fouras la Fumée for taking the boat [Check the timetable].

Let sylvain knows about your travel plan

The program in details:

Tuning body landscape with Kay Patru and Jihae Ko

In this work, we dive into the transformative process between body and landscape through senses. We allow body as a tuning instrument that is receptive and connected to the environment.

We observe, listen, feel, smell and taste. This basic sensory functions guide us to explore movement and dance expression from the body sensation as well as becoming one with the environment.

The approach of this workshop is twofold:

  1. Sensory Fieldwork

The first part of this workshop will be based on Sensory fieldwork. We will focus on the primary senses of the body to tune into the direct perception of the land. Through touch, smell, listening and looking/gazing we can allow the body to be informed by the surrounding ecosystem and the various habitats present on site. This sensory fieldwork will be guided and often blindfolded to deepen the perceptual field of the participants while being supported by an observing partner.

  1. Body Centered Practice

Building on the sensory practice, the second part of the workshop will consist of integrating the experience of the land into a wide range of Body Centered Practice. Movement/dance explorations, imagery and improvisation tasks, voice and breath work, as well as various bodywork modalities to engage the participants into finding their artistic expression within the context of being on the land.

Tuning Body Landscape- Seoul

“Somatic-shamanic base explorations” with Rafael Zielinski

Dance is a movement moving space. It has the power to touch something in you and let you flourish. Dance is communication; it wakes you up, opens up your senses and sense of self. Dance is a way to live life.

From contemporary dance and movement performances to embodiment and healing. With a bridge to nature and shamanism. Bringing nature back on stage.

Rafael is a transformer of space and energy. Through his radiant presence, sensibility and creativity, he is able to move (with) all that is.” (Odessa, 2016)

“Physicality~Musicality on film” with Andrea Hackl


“The shamanic power dance” with Sylvain Meret

This session will tap into the process of finding and embodying personal power through movement qualities. There is a space within us that hold the key for movement medicines that allow us to feel more empowered. This place is very personal and unique to each of us. To access it, one needs to connect with his energetic nature and to incorporate it through either movement, sounds, voice or dance expressions. Breaths, vocal sounds or songs are ways to directly feel the expression of our energetic nature, it is a great support to allow a deeper embodiment toward outer movement expression. This dance is a way to reconnect with our source and to bring our spirit in the here and now.


Jihae Ko is a dancer, choreographer and bodywork therapist based in Amsterdam. She graduated from the School of Toronto Dance Theater (Modern dance), SNDO (performance choreography) and Shenzou open university (Acupuncture therapy). While collaborating with numerous choreographers, visual artists and theater makers in Canada, Europe and South Korea, she is committed to bridging art practice and therapy as a path where creativity and inter-personal growth meet.

Kay Patru is a dance and movement improvisation teacher, choreographer, certified body work therapist based in Amsterdam. His work focuses primarily on developing improvisation and somatic awareness tools designed to awaken the innate intelligence of the body. His choreographic projects focus on designing the sensory experience of the body in relationship to (un)natural environments. He teaches regularly movement research and somatic awareness classes in Europe and South Korea. Kay Patru recently started researching and leading workshops around the impact of nature on the perception of the body.


Rafael Zielinski: Rafael is a transformer of space and energy. Through his radiant presence, sensibility and creativity, he is able to move (with) all that is.” (Odessa, 2016)


Andrea Hackl is based in Austria and the Netherlands and works as choreographer, dancer and video artist. Her work cherishes the power and poetry of dance and its physicality.

Most of all her work is a celebration of life. She’s inspired by cross-pollination and creative interdisciplinary work, by seeing how different fields can nourish and enrich one another.

Next to more “conventional” work, Andrea Hackl love to explore and experiment. She cherishes improvisation and instant composition in collaboration with musicians and has produced work in collaboration with scientists, mostly addressing the subject of climate change & human-nature relationships.

Over the last years she has produced various films, presented in Europe, US and Asia and has been working with the medium of installation. She’s exploring hybrid installation performances.

Andrea has danced with companies like Emanuel Gat Dance (Fr), United C (Nl), Suzy Blok (Nl) & Fabian Chyle (D), and toured major venues and festivals world-wide.


Sylvain MÉRET has a BA and DNSEP in visual art, he studied contemporary dance at P.A.R.T.S (Brussels, BE) and Dance Therapy at CODARTS (Rotterdam, NL). He has worked as a dancer [Virginie Mirbeau, Felix Rückert, company B. Valiente, Dylan Newcomb, Sjoerd Vreugdenhil…] and has an improviser in collaboration with Katie Duck, Magpie Music Dance, and recently Makiko Ito. He has performed his own work through Europe, Asia, Cuba and has been teaching for 10 years in various contexts (SNDO, KNUA, SEAD, ARTEZ). His main interest now is to share knowledge about improvisation, performance and co-creaitve awareness. /

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