Festival 2008 Home

Presenter Information

Program Information



Festival 2008 – July 20 – 25 – Connecticut College, New London, CT

The Festival opens on Sunday, July 20 at 6pm with a Magical Moving Mystery & Birthday Celebration for SDG’s 50th Birthday. We’ll close on Friday morning, July 25, with a special celebration. An optional excursion to Jacob’s Pillow (the original home of the Sacred Dance Guild’s summer festivals) will follow. Follow the links to explore the week-long festival!

Connecticut College is a natural location for the Dance Festival. In addition to offering a beautiful location with an awesome 750-acre arboretum, landscaped gardens and natural areas, the Collegehas a strong association with dance. They hostd the American Dance Festival from 1946 – 1976, with pioneers of American Modern Dance teaching, creating and performing there. Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Jose Limon and Twyla Tharp were among the many for whom the college was a well known home. Today they offer a major in Dance and Choreography. Festival 2008 participants will be inspired by the energy of the Moving Mysteries that have graced the many great dance spaces over the years and that continue today.

Schedule In Brief
Opening Celebration
Awakening the Mysteries
Morning Mysteries
In-Depth Inspirations, Living Legacies, Moving Musicians
Glimpses of Heritage, Mysteries Unveiled & Leaders in the Mystery
Sharing, Concerts, Exhibits, and Evening Events
Closing - A Time to Soar!
Excursion to Jacob’s Pillow

Tips for a Successful Experience

Schedule in Brief – Day students can check in daily at the Festival office.
Download Schedule at a Glance
Download the Full Class Schedule

Sunday, July 20
Festival Registration 12noon – 6pm
Opening Celebration 6pm – 11pm

Monday, July 21
Classes : 6:45 am – 4pm
Evening Festival Concert featuring Workshop Faculty – 7:30pm

Tuesday, July 22
Classes 6:45 am – 4pm
Festival Banquet & Annual Meeting (at Port N’ Starboard on the Ocean): Celebrating Our Past, Present & Future

Wednesday, July 23
Classes 6:45 am – 4pm
Barefoot Boogie – 7pm and Lumiere Labyrinth – 8:30 pm

Thursday, July 24
Classes 6:45 am – 4pm
Evening Faculty Concert (8:00 - with Pre-concert Keynote Speaker Judith Rock "Sacred Dance Guild – Past, Present, Future" – 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Friday, July 25
Closing Celebration 10:00 – 11am
Optional Trip to Jacobs Pillow departs 11:30am


Imagine a mystical, magical night of music, dance, lights, sounds and all manner of things that make you smile and breath deeply! As we come together on our first night, it will be a time of celebration, a time to move freely, a time to discover dancing bodies as yet unknown to you, a time to reconnect with those from the past, a time to be present in the moment and embrace the sense of wonder and anticipation of the week to follow as the mystery begins to unfold!

We begin our Festival "journey" celebrating the EAST! We welcome you to the East Coast of the U.S. in the area where the Sacred Dance Guild had its beginnings 50 years ago! Starting at 6:00 p.m., our 50th Anniversary Festival “song” will be "unveiled" calling People of the East, West, North and South to come together as One. We’ll enjoy time to be introduced to our amazing Faculty, to dine and socialize and to celebrate the 50th Birthday of the Sacred Dance Guild! Joining us as "Moving Mysteries" we'll have Carmine and the musical group Djinn coming to us from Brooklyn with their own special brand of "East Coast Tribal" music (www.djinnnyc.com), Katie and some dancing friends will bring tribal dance influenced by movements from the Middle East and other countries (www.wanderingfalcon.com) and Marya with her Mystic Paper Beasts (www.mysticpaperbeasts.org) will be a delight to our visual senses! This will be an evening to engage all of our senses and to lift our spirits as we begin our journey!

Just as the sun is sure to rise each day, so too can you choose to awaken to the mysteries of each new day at Festival 2008. With such early morning (pre-breakfast) diverse options as Metta Meditation, Warm up Jazz, Tai Chi, Yoga, Interfaith Body Prayers and Warm up in a Chair, this will be a time to stretch, explore and ready yourself!

MORNING Meditation & Gathering
Following the Awakening warm-ups and breakfast, there will be a time each day for all participants to come together to reflect in unison at one of the beautiful, serene outdoor sanctuaries that Connecticut College offers us as we prepare and open ourselves to what we will receive throughout the day.

The "In Depth Inspirations" classes will be facilitated by the six Inspirations. All six major presenters will offer two-hour morning classes Monday thru Thursday. Participants generally choose to "major" with one of these presenters as most of the classes generally build throughout the week. One presenters, Ruth Douthwright, will be offering a different class/theme each day for those who prefer to be enriched by experiencing a taste of a dance forms and styles. Additionally, all major presenters will offer afternoon workshops twice during the week so participants can have the opportunity to experience each of our major presenters.

As a special "treat" for our 50th anniversary celebration, there will also be a "Living Legacies" stream as part of these main morning classes where each 2 hour session will be led by a different "living legacy." We are truly blessed with dancers that have played an integral role in SACRED DANCE in North America for many years. We cannot imagine celebrating our 50th without these living legacies.


The journey continues in full and rich afternoons with:

  • Glimpses of Heritage - Classes to explore our heritage in the techniques and messages of Denishawn, Humphrey, Thimey, Luigi, Hildegard von Bingen, Doug Adams and others
  • Mysteries Unveiled - Choreography to Go options to unveil some mysteries
  • Leaders in the Mystery - Leaders moving us through the day – from Motion Sculpture, Healing Music, Hebrew dances, Dancing the Psalms, Daily Lectures series on dance in comparative religions, to TaKaTiNa and Happening Hoppas (a new and innovative approach developed by one of our workshop leaders)

The afternoon workshops will have something for everyone!


SHARING, CONCERTS, EXHIBITS AND EVENING EVENTS!One of the most popular Festival activities is the informal Sharings by festival participants that will begin this year on the Tuesday, July 22nd. This is the time for you to bring a dance you are working on, or one you have offered elsewhere, to share with your fellow Festival participants. These are informal gatherings held in a studio with an open and supportive audience. We provide the room, audience, and CD player; you bring your dance and your music. Some groups/individuals come prepared with costuming while others spontaneously use what they have. Our festival musicians may be available to provide live music for your Sharing upon request.

Sign-ups for Sharings are handled on-site; however, if you have questions in the interim, e-mail SDGFestival@sacreddanceguild.org or call Dawn Harris, Sharing Coordinator at 613- 224-1767.

This year we will also offer other types of Sharing opportunities. There will be late night video/DVD sharings (so bring them with you) and places and times to share your facilitation skills. If you teach a dance or other movement form or have specific dances to teach others, we will have sign up places available at Festival to offer this way of sharing your talents.


Moving Mysteries Exhibit

Be a MOVING Exhibit! We are planning an exhibit space to celebrate the first 50 years of the Sacred Dance Guild. That space has a stage area where we would love to have "moving" exhibits. As we Celebrate the Sacred Dance Guild?s Past, Present and Future - we invite you to participate by submitting a proposal to create a 3-minute dance/movement piece that is your response to the statement: ?Dance as an expression of the sacred moves in and through me as?. ? Individuals and/or groups can create a 3-minute piece using this statement as the choreographic motivation. In keeping with our Past, Present and Future focus, the piece can also be created from those 3 different perspectives - your present, your past and your future response to this statement. The total piece could therefore be a maximum of 9-minutes (of course this is only a suggestion!!) The piece can be to music, to silence, to words. It can be an individual piece, a group of individuals all responding separately (but using the same music/words) or a group working together. There will be set times during the Festival when the Moving Mysteries exhibit will be offered. This will be scheduled in advance and will be another way of Sharing! If you have any questions and/or are interested in sharing in this way, email SDGFestival@Sacreddanceguild.org or contact Wendy Morrell at 613-726-1375.



Monday – A special late afternoon "Sacred Service" will bring us together on our first full day of Festival. Later in the evening there will be a more formal "Sharing" time by some of the workshop faculty and other participants who have completed pieces to offer in what we are calling the "Festival Concert".

Tuesday - We will leave the campus for a short bus ride to Ocean Beach Park for our Banquet and Annual Membership gathering. Overlooking Long Island Sound, the Port 'N' Starboard is one of the area's largest year-round gourmet banquet facilities with catering by the "Boston Culinary Group". This will be our evening to celebrate our Past, Present and Future together and to take time to reminisce, remember and honor those many individuals who have shaped the Sacred Dance Guild such that we are here to celebrate 50 years of supporting and advocating for Dance as a Sacred Art.

Wednesday - On this evening we will explore two very different aspects of sacred “dance”! Beginning with the energetic and energizing “Barefoot Boogie” where you can kick off your shoes and spend a few hours with Amy Zezulka, Director and Owner of Mystic Yoga Shala (www.mysticyogashala.com) in Stonington, CT, and her friends in a gathering of freestyle drumming and dancing. Barefoot Boogie of Southeastern Connecticut featuring the Bam-Bam Clan is an intergenerational celebration of life through drumming and dance. Traditional African and contemporary rhythms are played on hand drums by professional and amateur drummers for extended period of time inspiring spirit and spontaneity to guide dancers into trance states or deeper levels of Creativity. Bring a drum or grab one there and boogie to the beat. We’ll move then to a tranquil and reflective 1,000 candle lit labyrinth on the outdoor space at Library Green overlooking Long Island Sound. Amongst the gentle breezes, dancer Claire Elizabeth Barratt (www.cillavee.com) and Festival students will open the experience with Motion Sculptures as the labyrinth is "lit". Everyone will then be invited to journey into the mystical path of this glowing labyrinth as we end another day at Festival.

Thursday - On our last evening together at Festival, we will take a short walk to Connecticut College’s Evans Theatre for the public lecture/plenary session led by the ever inspiring and inspired Judith Rock. Judith will explore with us Sacred Dance and the Sacred Dance Guild’s past, present and future. This will be followed with the always uplifting and affirming Faculty Concert where we, along with members of the public, can sit back and enjoy the offerings of our In-Depth Inspirations! A reception will follow the concert for a time of sharing our thoughts, ideas and joys as we end our last full day at Festival 2008.


As we finish the week at a Closing Celebration on Friday morning, that will assure we are ready to "soar" to our homes with mysteries unveiled and new mysteries discovered.

We are pleased to be able to offer a very special post Festival excursion to Jacob's Pillow in Beckett, Mass. as part of your 50th Anniversary Festival experience! If you have never visited this amazing place, don't miss this opportunity to do so! This trip will take us back to the origins of the Sacred Dance Guild Institutes in the early 60's where Ted Shawn himself was the Sacred Dance Guild's first Festival "Director"! The excursion will include transportation by Coach from and back to Connecticut College, a personalized tour of the grounds and gardens, the opportunity to observe classes in session, a picnic dinner, tickets to performances in the early evening on the Inside/Outside stage and later at the main stage in the Ted Shawn Theatre, overnight on Friday the 25th at Connecticut College, a goodbye breakfast on Saturday and much more!! The special fee celebrating our 50th for this optional excursion is a total of $150! (Click here for more details). If you have any questions contact Wendy Morrell at SDGFestival@sacreddanceguild.org.


Other Notes:

Guests & Children
Have a non-participant or children coming with you? Yes, some do bring spouses and children. Tickets are available for sale for evening events so guests and/or children can join you.


Items to Sell or Donate?
Once again we are pleased to offer a Festival Store, Festival Bazaar and a Silent Auction. The store, which will be open all week, is the place to sell your dance or art items such as music, choreography, books, t-shirts, dance items and any craft item. The staffed store is run on consignment (15% of sales). For details, email SDGFestival@sacreddanceguild.org or contact Diane Dean at 613-831-1204.

The Bazaar will be held for one-day on Thursday, July 24. You will need to provide a table or rent one from the college and staff it. The cost is 10% of sales. For details or to book a table, email SDGFestival@sacreddanceguild.org or contact Diane Dean at 613-831-1204

Our Silent Auction, to be held either at Tuesday's Banquet and Annual Meeting or at the Thursday Bazaar, is a fundraiser that benefits the Festival Scholarship program. Please consider donating an item or two (gifts, dance memorabilia, art and new or gently used treasures are welcome) to be auctioned. To celebrate the many places from which we come, this year we are encouraging participants to consider bringing items that represent their home community wines, specialty non-perishable food items, local artisans works, etc. And of course bring a little money of your own to bid on the wonderful items. To donate, simply bring your donated item with you. Note, that SDG is a 501c3 organization so donations are tax-deductible.

Refund Policy
| Privacy Policy

Photo credits: Fabio Flecha