Tree Land Sky: site-responsive listening & practice

With Esther Baker-Tarpaga & Deirdre Morris

May 21, 2020 - 12:00pm to May 23, 2020 - 2:00pm

Site-responsive research helps us develop a language of understanding….of land, trees, skies, walls, and windows…and gives us tools for being in relationship with the ecologies of our surroundings. 

Site-responsive movement invokes the history, architecture, and possibilities inherent within a place. It describes how experience shifts depending on the spaces bodies encounter. It is an allowing of space to reflect what story it wants to tell, and have movement follow…to create resonance, dissonance, and movement between body, place, and memory.

Throughout this three-day, online workshop we will tap into all of our senses, and actively listen to and explore our environments. We will use movement exercises to regulate our nervous systems, build community through collaboration, and create resilient practices.

Take a breath. Look around your space. What do you see? What are you feeling? 

In our time together, we will begin with an acknowledgement of gratitude, a guided sitting or moving meditation, and a rhythmic warm-up to get the blood flowing. We will dance inside and outside (where possible), we will dance our ecologies and each other. Part of this workshop will include collaboration with a partner.

This workshop aims to spark conversation and combat isolation. It is for life-living. We welcome anyone with an ongoing or beginning creative practice who is interested in coming into deeper relationship with their environment.


Schedule (all times in EDT on Zoom):
Thursday 12–2pm
Friday 12–2pm
Saturday 12–2pm

Earthdance is striving to create sustainable models of programming that also help create opportunities for more diverse access. This workshop is donation-based. Please pay at the highest level you can afford. This supports fair compensation for the teaching artists and the Earthdance organization while creating opportunity for those who need support to attend.

Pay What You Can (Suggested Donation: $80–$280) NO ONE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS

If you have any questions or concerns about cost, please email

Earthdance Cancellation Policy

Esther Baker-Tarpaga is a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist. Her dances are site-responsive, collaborative, and center art as social action. She is interested in how art is a tool for transformation and a bridge to connect people.  She is co-artistic director of Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project and co-founder of Propelled Animals, an interdisciplinary arts and social justice collective and recipients of a MAP Grant. She recently performed at ArtYard New Jersey, No New Idols Festival in Riga, Latvia, The Wassaic Festival NY, The Englert Theatre Iowa City, InsideOut Festival, Burkina Faso, and Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, Pittsburgh. She currently teaches at Temple University and has an M.F.A. in Dance from UCLA and B.A. from Bowdoin College.  She was an Artist in Residence at Marin Headlands and is a recipient of a NY Live Arts Suitcase Fund, NY Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, and was a US Cultural Envoy in Guinea, Botswana, and South Africa. She co-directs a study abroad program in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She grew up in the foothills of Fort Collins, Colorado and lives in Philadelphia with her family.

Deirdre Amirault Morris is a working member of Dancing Earth Indigenous Creations. She is also the founder/director of The Forgotten Body Remembers, a site for research and implementation of somatic practices of education, social justice ecologies, and community development through the arts. Her work has been received at the Center for Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe, NM), Impulstanz/IDOCDE (Vienna, Austria), Artpolis/FemArt Festival (Pristina, Kosovo), TAM (Veliko Tărnovo, Bulgaria), and Muszi (Budapest, Hungary). Deirdre presented and published her research into empathy based educational practices, Somatic Generosity: Cultivating Empathy in the Classroom and Beyond, at the Latin American Social Innovation Network, Panama City, Panama in September 2017. She earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Dramatic Arts and Performance Studies from UC Davis in 2014.

photos © Maeve Jackson (top); Karla Conrad and Anna M. Maynard (bottom)