Ecosomatics in Practice

With Sondra Fraleigh and Shannon Rose Riley

  • 6 weekly one-hour sessions, June 25, July 2, July 9, July 16, July 23, and July 30, 2024 from 12 – 1 pm Eastern U.S. time
  • Please find your local time for this event HERE.
  • Registration deadline: June 18, 2024

This online 6-session summer course with Sondra Fraleigh, Shannon Rose Riley, and guests, explores practices in the emerging area of ecosomatics. The course fosters the growth of ecosomatic awareness and practice through cultivating attention to the small and the overlooked, locating ourselves with/in nature, reimagining and shifting our relationships with the more-than-human world and vibrant matter, and developing wide vision. There will be some discussion of theory related to the work, but the course will be primarily experiential. Somatic movement approaches include Place Dances, Shin Somatics® and Land to Water Yoga, speculative movement activities, movement based on visualization, Butoh, work with depth psychology and dreamscapes, and breathing practices informed by forest bathing and the work of Robert Litman. Sessions include online meetings, discussions, and activities; outdoor activities and environmental interactions; the use of creative writing and art materials; small group activities in breakout rooms; and fostering communities through connection with the natural world. 

This workshop series will support ISMETA members’ professional development by introducing participants to the emergent area of ecosomatics with a bit of theory and a wide range of experiential practices. This will support them in integrating ecosomatic principles and practices into their own somatic and creative work. 

Learning goals – Participants will: 

  • Be introduced to key issues in ecosomatics 
  • Experience ecosomatic practices in order to develop a personal or community practice 
  • Engage in shared reflection on principles and practices explored in the series 

Live participation is encouraged. However, if you are unable to attend on these dates, the recording will be available for those who register in advance. 


Sondra Fraleigh


Sondra Fraleigh is professor emeritus of dance at the State University of New York at Brockport, a Fulbright Scholar and award-winning author of 14 books with university presses including Geographies of Us: Ecosomatic Essays and Practice Pages (edited with Shannon Rose Riley, 2024), Back to the Dance Itself: Phenomenologies of the Body in Performance (2019); Moving Consciously: Somatic Transformations through Dance, Yoga, and Touch (2015) and BUTOH: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy (2010). Earlier books include Dancing Identity: Metaphysics in Motion (2004); Dancing into Darkness: Butoh, Zen, and Japan (1999); Researching Dance: Evolving Modes of Inquiry (1998); and Dance and the Lived Body (1987). Her book on the founders of Japanese butoh is Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo (2006). In 2008, she published Land to Water Yoga on somatic yoga and infant movement development. She also has numerous essays and book chapters on culture, aesthetics, and somatics. Fraleigh was chair of the Department of Dance at SUNY Brockport for nine years, later head of graduate dance studies and also selected by SUNY as a university-wide Faculty Exchange Scholar. She received the Outstanding Service to Dance Award from CORD (now Dance Studies Association) in 2003. Her choreography has been seen in the USA, Germany, Japan, and India. She was a teaching fellow at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, the University of Baroda in India, and invited to bring dancers to Japan on performance tours in 1998 and1999. Fraleigh is the founding director of Eastwest Somatics Institute for the study of dance, yoga and movement (since 1990): www.eastwestsomatics.com.   


Shannon Rose Riley


Shannon Rose Riley is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar. She is Professor of Creative Arts & Humanities and Director of Dance at San José State University. She has an MFA in Studio Art, a PhD in Performance Studies, and is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist & Educator trained in Eastwest Somatics, Shin Somatics, butoh, and Authentic Movement. Her current work is centered on what she calls The Campus Tree Project. She is the author of Performing Race and Erasure: Cuba, Haiti, & US Culture, 1898-1940 (Palgrave, 2016); co-editor, with Sondra Fraleigh, of Geographies of Us: Ecosomatic Essays and Practice Pages (Routledge, 2024); and co-editor, with Lynette Hunter, of Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research: Scholarly Acts & Creative Cartographies (Palgrave, 2009). Riley’s publications appear in both literary and academic journals as well as edited collections; her visual and performance works have been exhibited and staged internationally at numerous venues. She performs and records with the Chicago-based performance/noise group, ONO. 

Sondra-eyes-closed   Sondra-sitting-on-red-rocks    Shannon-with-cat-headshot




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