Tree Land Sky: Site-Responsive Improvisation & Collaboration

With Esther Baker-Tarpaga & Deirdre Morris

May 21, 2020 - 5:00pm to May 25, 2020 - 3:00pm

Programming category: 

‘Site-responsive’ encapsulates our research of how embodied experience shifts with the spaces our bodies and imaginations encounter. Through this research, we develop our own language of understanding (of trees, land, skies, etc.) along with choreographic tools for creating performative responses to site.

Throughout the intensive, we will examine our responses to, and effects of, different environments on our somatic material by centering joy and creative process. We will tap into all our senses to actively listen and explore the environment. We will begin each day 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, and be in collaboration with each other, the land, water, trees, and air. We will create small dances, natural installations, and choreograph memory and lineage. Through the week, participants will create installations and collaborative dances to share at a community performance.

Open to all backgrounds & levels of experience.

Tree Land Sky 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 9th.


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


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 in NY, The Englert Theatre in Iowa City, InsideOut Festival, Burkina Faso, and Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, Pittsburgh. She currently teaches at Temple University and has an MFA and MA from UCLA and BA 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 Morris is formerdirector of Earthdance, former director of Wise Fool New Mexico, and is a working member of Dancing Earth. 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)

Earthdance's Cancellation Policy
Earthdance's Nudity Policy