. . . we can sense the world around us only because we are entirely a part of this world, because by virtue of our own carnal density and dynamism we are wholly embedded in the depths of the earthly sensuous. We are born of these very waters, this very air, this loamy soil, this sunlight. Nourished and sustained by the substance of the breathing earth, we are flesh of its flesh. David Abram, Becoming Animal

When you arrive in a new place, in just a few days the 70% of your body that is water is now from that watershed. Andrea Olsen, Body and Earth

River/Body is a site-specific, multidisciplinary, community-engaging dance project inspired by the Housatonic River and watershed, created by Paula Josa-Jones in collaboration with dancers Amy Wynn, Aislinn MacMaster and Sandrine Harris. They will be joined by DeAnna Pellecchia, Lorraine Chapman and several young dancers from the area. Other collaborators include actor Evangeline Johns, musician John Marshall, improvising word/sound artist Ione.

Our goal with River/Body is to express with movement and sound music how the personal body is an integral part of a sensual, shared biosphere, emphasizing how "water is life", and how o9ur bodies (which is 60% water) have a deep and complex relationship to the river and all the waters that surround and support us.

The play of light and sound in the river environment, the movement of the water over rocks and moving bodies, the presence and movement of wildlife are all part of the "score" of River/Body. Our intention is to express the consanguinity of the body of the river habitat with our own wild, fluid bodies.

River/Body asks how our anatomy and that of the river are connected. How does the simultaneous coming and going of the river waters, the constant renewal and loss, parallel our own short lives? What are our own wild currents? What is the heart of the river, the mind of the river? How are we a part of each other?

Costumes by Christine Joly de Lotbiniere will wrap and extend the bodies of the performers, integrating layers of dyed and painted fabric with natural materials such as leaves, branches, bark and mud. The visual design also includes long panels of gauzy, dyed and distressed cloth, wrapped branches and rocks, bundles of sticks, flowers, grasses, and vessels for holding, carrying and pouring water.

Using metal bowls, gourds, rocks, water, and found objects, the Water Orchestra - a group of students and community members - will create the sonic environment of the dance, in collaboration with John Marshall and Ione. The dancers will also "play" the water during the performance, inspired by Pauline Oliveros's Deep Listening strategies and the water drumming women of Banks Islands in the South Pacific.

River/Body partners with the Housatonic Valley Association, Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, Housatonic Heritage Foundation and Housatonic Valley Regional High School. Performances will take place on the Housatonic River in Connecticut and tributary rivers in Massachusetts and New York. Following the premiere in New England, we plan to take this dance to other rivers in the U.S. and other countries, collaborating with an international community of artists and audiences.

Please join us in making River/Body a reality. Any donation over $100 will receive a downloadable link for a video of the finished dance. Donations over $250 will receive a River/Body T-shirt designed by Pam White.

Please join us!
Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works is a non-profit 501c3 organization.
You may make your tax-deductable donation


or send a donation by snail mail to:
Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works
P.O. Box 707
Kent, CT 06757

Thank you!