Somatic Arts Scholarship Concert at Naropa Showcases Unique Dance/Movement Therapy Program

BOULDER, Colo. (January 10, 2011) Naropa University's Somatic Counseling Department presents the 15th Annual Somatic Arts Scholarship Concert on January 28 & 29, 2011: "Serendipity Calling." The concert showcases performances choreographed and performed by students, faculty, staff and alumni of the program. There is a $10 suggested donation with all proceeds going to fund need-based scholarships for students.

WHAT: 15th Annual Somatic Arts Scholarship Concert "Serendipity Calling"
WHO: Naropa University's Somatic Counseling Department. Directed by students Rissa Stiefel and Lexi Chatara-Middleton with Faculty Advisor Leah D'Abate
WHEN: January 28 & January 29, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Performing Arts Center, Naropa's Arapahoe Campus, 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302. For more information, click here.

The concert combines the creative process of art making and embodied performance together with the psychotherapeutic disciplines of Body Psychotherapy and Dance/Movement Therapy to create an experience that is at once entertaining and therapeutic. "Dance/movement therapy has roots in the modern dance movement and has always held, as one of its tenets, that the creative process is fundamentally healing and transformative," says Leah D'Abate, faculty advisor for the concert. "In order to support that tenet, we devised this opportunity to give our students involved in therapeutic training a chance to come into intimate relationship with the creative process themselves."

"What separates the Somatic Arts Scholarship Concert from most other dance performances is that it is an opportunity for all involved participants to engage in the creative process directly in order to explore and express themselves through movement, choreography and performance art," says Lexi Chatara-Middleton, one of the student directors of the performance. Lexi and co-director Rissa Stiefel agree that "Working this way creates an intense sense of community in which the emotionally motivated pieces have an artistic integrity that is reflective of a broader more communal theme, not only belonging to the artists, but relevant for all involved in the concert." This year's theme centers around the magic of metamorphosis, both literal and figurative, and the serendipity that evolves along the way.

Naropa University was one of the first institutions in the nation to offer a degree in somatic counseling psychology more than 20 years ago. The Master of Arts program is based on the belief that a functional unity exists between the mind and body and that therapeutic change occurs through direct experience of the present moment. Graduates are eligible to take the Colorado state licensing exam in counseling.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.