Celebrate the Seasons


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

(20 March – Spring – Dangbala Hoedo)
(Full of potential, first vulnerable forms – Element air)
….This dance retreat was allready celebrated on 20th of march; if you like to join the year circle from summer on, please read on….

19 juni – Summer –  Herbiosso
Fully present in the world – Element fire

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

18 december – 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)

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 hope to 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 the 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.

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
…are not afraid to practice in an outside urban environment
…open to all levels of moving bodies, an open mind and willing body is the most important
…are willing to share their 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, Nijverheidsweg 16C, 3534 AM Utrecht
We’ll work on Sundays 12.00-17.00 o’clock


The yearcircle started on the 20th of march, but there is still space to join us from summer on!
As we want to welcome a diverse group of people we also like to welcome people with different financial possibilities.

We trust you choose the donation that fits your financial situation.

Participating in the yearcircle from summer:
– Regular donation: € 280,-
– For the ones living on a tight budget: € 240,-         
– For the ones living on a wide budget: € 320,-

All donations include 21% BTW.

Reserve your ticket here

If you have any questions about participating, don’t hesitate to contact Mieke.


Met dank aan:
– gemeente Utrecht voor de Impuls Subsidie
– Merel Dames van Rizomorf voor het ontwerp van het beeld