Celebrate the Seasons – test

Year circle of 4 Sunday dance retreats in Utrecht, The Netherlands
Sense, celebrate and embody every unique season


Dance Retreats in 2023

19 march 2023 – Spring – Dambala Wedo
Full of potential, first vulnerable forms – Element air

18 june 2023 – Summer –  Herviosso
Fully present in the world – Element fire

24 september 2023 – Autumn – Yaoitcha
Slow down, turn inward and harvest – Element water

10 december 2023 – Winter – Sagbata
Round up and let go, rest and move within – Element earth

Guided by

Mieke Koldewee (The Netherlands, movement research)
Mathias Ganhounouto (Bénin, traditional African dance)
Kodjo Agbodjalou (Togo, traditional African percussion)
Moussé Dramé (Senegal/Mali, traditional African music)

Mieke Koldewee (The Netherlands, movement research)
Mathias Ganhounouto (Bénin, traditional African dance)

Part of nature

In this year circle we gather to explore and celebrate how every season is not just happening around us, but also through us. We humans are part of nature, but in our modern Western culture we tend to forget and think ourselves separate from nature.

In these dance retreats we develop a body of practice that supports us in our health as human (urban) beings as being part of nature and as a global community.
We’ll work both ín the studio and outside in the urban area where we can experience the season as we observe it in nature, especially in trees. We’ll collectively move from stillness to the powerful grounded dances from Bénin that demand stamina.


In both movement research and in traditional dances of Bénin human beings being part of nature is a given.
In movement research we tap into a somatic system (for example our breathing system or bone system). Every system has its own ‘mind’ and brings forth a specific quality of movement and connection with our environment. Movement research will help us to explore the specific quality of each season.
The traditional dances from Bénin that we’ll practice are rooted in a very strong indigenous philosophy where the connection with nature is a given. Where body and mind are considered undivided, where we as humans are part of a whole. A culture where community and ritual are essential for staying healthy. Every retreat we’ll learn a specific traditional dance connected to the element of the season and use it to celebrate together. The dances are guided by the live polyrhythmic drumming.

Have an impression of our day dance retreats of autumn  and winter in 2022 here:

Day retreats

Elements that we’ll use in the day retreats
– Time to land together
Silent walk outside
– Tapping into a specific body part, sense or somatic system
– Open air movement research related to how we experience the season in our bodies and how we perceive the season in the trees
– Creating a strong embodied rhythmic field in the circle of people
– Dive into a specific traditional Benin dance and celebration that supports the specific energy, element and spirit of the season
– Sharing amongst ourselves in spoken or written words / poetry

Join us when you…

…love to move, love to dance, enjoy rhythm
…share our curiosity for the connection between nature, awareness and the moving body
…like the openness of movement research and inquiry practices
…are interested in learning a traditional dance from Bénin
…are not afraid to sweat
…love to (partly) practice in an outside urban environment
…have an open mind and willing body (the year circle is open to alle levels of moving bodies) 
…are willing to share your presence, energy, wisdom and reflections in a circle of people and wish to celebrate the season in community
…understand English and/or Dutch. Also French will be used, we’ll translate for each other when needed.


This year circle is a research project of Mieke Koldewee (the Netherlands) and Mathias Ganhounouto (Bénin), supported by Kodjo Agbodjalou (Togo) and Moussé Dramé (Senegal/Mali).
Coming from very different backgrounds we find a common ground in our curiosity and perspective on the potential of the human connection with nature through dance and the moving community.

Location and time

Danszaal Overvloed, Arkansasdreef 20, 3565 AR Utrecht
We’ll work on Sundays 12.00-17.00 o’clock


Like the seasons the year circle is ongoing.  You can join the circle at any moment in the year. From the moment you reserved your ticket, you join the 4 seasons that first following.
As we want to welcome people of different financial backgrounds, we offer a regular ticket and a ticket for people living on a wide budget. With extra financial resources we can let people participate that are living on a tight budget.
Do you want to join, but are you not able to afford the regular ticket (now)?
Please contact Mieke (info@miekekoldewee.nl or 06-27062919) and we’ll find a way for you to join.
We trust you choose the donation that fits your financial situation.

Participating in the year circle:
– Regular donation: € 340,-
– For the ones living on a wide budget: € 400,-

If you’re not sure whether the year circle is something for you, there is the possibility to have a taste of one day retreat first. After that first day retreat you decide to join the whole circle or not to continue.
Regular donation: € 90,-
For the ones living on a wide budget: € 110,-

The tickets include the guidance of 4 professionals (2 dancers, 2 drummers), 21% VAT and tea, water and fruits during the day retreats.

Reserve your ticket here

Do you want to be invited for our dance & embodiment events?
Send you contactinfo to:

Don’t hesitate to contact Mieke if you have any questions:

Met dank aan:
– gemeente Utrecht voor de Impuls Subsidie
– Merel Dames van Rizomorf voor het ontwerp van het beeld
– Jasmijn Schrofer voor filmregistratie
– Nikla Katsburg voor hulp bij de communicatie