Shakti Summer School 2019

Another glorious year of Shakti Summer School ~ Greece, completed!

Nature nurtures!  And facilitates the study mindset with its soothing atmosphere. I see why the ancient philosophers of Greece were so inspired to give discourse and offer contemplations under these very olive trees!  All an artist really needs is time and space, Villa Shakti offers an abundance of just that.  We are reflecting on the successful conclusion of 5 weeks of Shakti Summer School!

This is a very particular paradise, a place for those who are looking for that deep satisfaction of hard work.  Indian dance and Yoga have a unique culture around them that require an atmosphere of discipline and concentration.  Our students this year were a focused bunch, and the result was obvious in their growth!  

We started each sunny day with yoga.  Our days were filled with dance classes and an occasional beach trip, then we ended most days with Theory Class (lecture topics related to Indian Aesthetic Theory).  Not a bad life for someone who wants to live, eat, sleep and breath DANCE! 

We believe that ART IS A PATH and that is why living the art, in our place of study is an important component to our artistic development.  This traditional Indian concept of ‘Gurukul’ is not easy, it is not a utopia, it takes SPIRITED PARTICIPATION.  And it was a great pleasure to see students getting involved in the creation of their ideal dance space.  

Each of the 5 weeks welcomed different dancers and different dance focuses.  Weeks 1&2 were all about building strong foundations in Odissi classical Indian dance.  While Week 5 was an intensive week for our “All Star” Odissi Diploma Program students!  Week 3 was a comprehensive look at Indian Fusion Belly Dance and all the elements that go into this expression.  Week 4 was a very intimate adventure into Indian Contemporary, Indian Fusion, a taste of Indian Martial Arts and choreographic tool for the serious dancer.

Because Villa Shakti is positioned on an idyllic Greek Island in the expanse of nature, we are able to live our holistic vision of dance and yoga unlike any other place.  

Some of our highlights this year for me were the spontaneous moments we took our art out into NATURE:  Odissi theory classes on Indian Classical Aesthetics in the olive groves at sunset, dancing our Indian Fusion Belly Dance choreographies at the ‘circle of stones’ / Artemis temple of the ancient Byzantine city on a mountain top over looking the sea, dancing Indian Contemporary dance at the ancient Roman arches near Knossos and so many more!  

We will be announcing our dates for 2020 Shakti Summer School soon… stay tuned for more info on this boutique retreat experience at the home of art, dance and nature: Villa Shakti Crete!

Jai Ma!

~ Colleena