Forces of Nature: A Six Viewpoints Performance Intensive

With Deborah Black & Sophia Treanor

May 15, 2020 - 5:00pm to May 19, 2020 - 3:00pm

Programming category: 

Currently we are facing a climate emergency. Many of us experience the effects of this subconsciously and through our bodies, in experiences that include anxiety, numbness, and despair. Many of us ask ourselves over and over what can be done. Taking inspiration from grassroots social justice movements, we will aim to listen to the way that the earth speaks for herself and offer our consciousness as an observer to the rich dialogue between the forces of nature that surround us. Perhaps we will learn something about the hierarchy we have created in relationship to the earth, and perhaps we will learn something about how to let that hierarchy rest, decompose into the humus.  Perhaps we will learn something about the body as an expression of the earth, and will find ourselves participating in the dialogue.

Originated by dancer/choreographer, Mary Overlie, The Six Viewpoints deconstruct the materials used in performance: space, time, shape, emotion, story, and movement, opening up their infinite possibilities. The study of the Viewpoints introduces performance makers to a clear vocabulary of materials to spark research or new perspective on their own work. 
Using the Viewpoints as a framework of discrete options for perceptual orientation, we will open our practice up from the studio and out into the natural world and ask the question: how does our perception of our environment alter our consciousness and actions? Your questions that arise from a deep listening to our surroundings in the Berkshire hills will become material for performance making. Your presence in front of an audience is a reciprocal invitation to come into feeling and connection with yourself and with all that surrounds us. You will become a participant with the forces of nature, an original anarchist.

This intensive weekend will include a brief introduction to the theoretical framework of the Viewpoints as well as a closer look at the materials through improvisation and experimentation. We welcome dancers, actors, singers, directors, choreographers, dramaturges, and designers of all disciplines to participate. No prior experience necessary.

Forces of Nature is part of a 3-week-long immersion at Earthdance, featuring 4 back-to-back programs with opportunities to stay in between as a personal retreat:

Spring Work Weekend 2020 (FREE)
May 8–10

Forces of Nature: A Six Viewpoints Performance Intensive
May 15–19

Tree Land Sky: Site-Responsive Improvisation & Collaboration
May 21–25

Queer CI Lab & Jam 2020
May 28–31

Sign up for both Forces of Nature AND Tree Land Sky and get 10% off!
Sign up for Forces of Nature, Tree Land Sky, AND Queer CI Lab & Jam and get 15% off!
Email to take advantage of these offers.

Earthdance's personal retreats include dinner & breakfast, sleeping accomodations in the Gratitude Lodge, as well as access to Earthdance's beautiful facilities with open studios, a wood-fired sauna, massage room, and 100+ acres of trails and streams. Find out more about Earthdance's personal retreats here.
To book your overnight retreat, email

Read Earthdance's Pledge to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Earthdance's buildings are ADA accessible. More info here.

Early Bird ends April 3rd.


Our Fees Explained
Our fees are priced on a sliding scale to help allow for a diversity of people to attend. We ask that you please pay at the highest level you can afford:

The Sustainer Rate is for those able to help sustain someone else’s tuition.
The Full Rate is for those comfortably able to pay at cost (what it costs for Earthdance to run this program).
The Subsidized Rate is for those needing financial assistance to attend.
The Student Rate is for those attending school fulltime.

Full Workshop 
$530 Early Bird | $560 Regular Sustainer Rate
$455 Early Bird | $485 Regular Full Rate
$395 Early Bird | $425 Regular Subsidized Rate
$370 Early Bird | $400 Regular Student Rate

Housing Options
Commuting: $15 off/night
Camping: $10 off/night

See our Work Study Opportunities >>
Earthdance Cancellation Policy

Our Community Ethos
During all Earthdance workshops and jams, participants contribute 1–2 shifts (typically Meal Cleans) and participate in a Final House Clean on Sunday. This is to enable a process of collective care for the space, where participants and staff work side-by-side to establish a shared sense of home. If, for whatever reason, you are not able to participate, please email


Deborah Black is a dancer, theatre maker, writer, and teacher. She has performed in the work of Deborah Hay, Mary Overlie, Susan Rethorst, and Ann Hamilton. While living in Rotterdam (NL) from 2013-16, she created and toured with the Tuning People (BE) and Ymist Company (NO). She is currently researching the space between the body and language with poet Alyson Hallett (UK) while writing her first book. Deborah has taught physical theatre and dance at the Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Tilburg (NL). She led guest and master classes at Goldsmith’s University London, NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing, Drama Studio London, Ohio University, Skidmore College, Rowan University, James Madison University, University of South Florida, as well as workshops in New York City, all across Europe and online.



Sophia Treanor is a performer, director, educator, and Biodynamic Craniosacral practitioner. Her work has been seen at New York Live Arts, Living Theater, the Center for Performance Research, CAVE, the Glasshouse, Triskelion Arts, and Dixon Place. Treanor has been apprentice to Viewpoints founder Mary Overlie since 2013, and served as a primary reader for the Viewpoints book, "Standing in Space.”  Treanor teaches the Viewpoints in New York and has assisted Overlie’s workshops in Switzerland, England, Spain, the Netherlands, and Austria. Most recently, she produced, assistant directed, and performed in Overlie’s "Brain to Brain" at Danspace Project. She is on faculty at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and practices Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy in New York City.

photos © Anna M. Maynard and Mary Overlie (bottom)


Earthdance's Cancellation Policy
Earthdance's Nudity Policy