Celebrate the Seasons

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

18 september 2022 – Autumn – Yaoitcha
Slow down, turn inward and harvest – Element water

18 december 2022 – Winter – Sagbata
Round up and let go, rest and move within – Element earth

19 march 2023 – Spring – Dangbala Hoedo
Full realization of embodied potential – Element fire

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

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 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.

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, Nijverheidsweg 16C, 3534 AM 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 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.
The ticket includes the guidance of 4 professionals, 21% BTW and tea, water and fruits during the day retreats.

Participating in the year circle from autumn:
– Regular donation: € 360,- 
– For the ones living on a tight budget: € 280,-
– For the ones living on a wide budget: € 440,-

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. Welcome!
Regular donation: € 90,-
For the ones living on a wide budget: € 110,-
For the ones living on a tight budget: € 70,-

We are still busy making a Hipsy ticketshop where you’ll be able to reserve your ticket.
Please send an email or message to already reserve your ticket:


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