Djerassi Resident Artists Program




Workshop Information

Environmental Life Writing:
Poetry and Prose

with Ann Fisher-Wirth

Writing Your

with Jane Vandenburgh

Moving Alchemy/
Interim Spaces: moving, writing, perceiving
with Sara Shelton Mann


Discover your obstinate genius and celebrate creativity with Sara at Djerassi in beautiful Woodside, California.

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to delve deeply into the beginning movement practices of Sara Shelton Mann. This will also include practices in journaling, energetic awareness and intuitive development working with your personal archetypes as focal point. At the culmination of the retreat you will have acquired a dynamic toolkit for exploring new pathways into yourself and your artistic process.

Research and Practice will include:

Daily Chi Cultivation: detox and energize the body and consciousness.

Perceiving extraordinary reality: explore how space moves the body. Journey through energetic fields, engage the land in dialogue, and create from internal and external stimuli as a partnership

Imagination journeys: writing from the moving body – as language – digging into the underbelly of our thoughts and practice.

There will be some dowsing and clearing opportunities with Sara in groups and individually.

Djerassi is a vast terrain big enough to hear your own laughter across the sea of clouds and behind the morning dawn and before the “green flash” as she drops into the silvery night.  Time suspends its platform, every moment shifting realities.

This workshop calls on artists, creators and movers of all kinds. 

No experience necessary – desire, yes!

More info: at:

Workshop Dates: Friday, February 17 – Wednesday, 22, 2017
Early Bird Deadline:
Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016
Early Bird applicants receive 10% off tuition with payment in full by Wednesday January 11, 2017
Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016
Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017

Application fee: $10

Workshop fee: $700/$950 private room, shared bath/private room and bath
Special couples rate: $450 each (shared room/bed)
Includes 5 nights lodging, all food, and local transportation from and to the San Francisco Airport.
Deposit of $400 due Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (Deposits hold your place and are non-refundable)
Early Bird Deposit and Final Payment due Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Final payment due Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Application Process:
Step 1: You will first need to register at the online application portal
Step 2: Applications for the workshop can be accessed through this link:
or by clicking on the APPLY button on the top left of this page.

Application materials requested

  • 2017 Sara Shelton Mann Application Form
  • 200 word description of how you will use this time with Sara and what project you might work on.
  • Short bio and a personal description of you artistic practice and how you see yourself in the world.
  • Short video of your work 3-5 min. (may have 2 videos) or short spoken word project that you have presented.

Sara Shelton Mann is a dance artist whose choreography and teaching has played a significant role in shaping contemporary dance performance aesthetics and choreographic process. Her protégés (Curtis, Epifano, Hennessy, Hermesdorf, De Hoyos, and Erdman, among others) tour internationally. Herself a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Lewis in NYC in the 1960s, Sara is also deeply influenced by Contact Improvisation. From 1979-96 Sara directed Contraband, a ground-breaking troupe working at the leading edges of contemporary dance, performance, ritual, and music.  She has received 6 Isadora Duncan Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography, and most recently San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Lifetime Achievement Award.  Sara collaborated and toured internationally with Guillermo Gomez-Pena from 1996 to 1999 and has created commissioned work across the US, Europe and Russia.  Sara's work has been supported by Djerassi Artist in Residence Programs, ODC Commissions, NEA, NEFA, SFAC, SFF, Zellerbach and Gerbode Foundation. Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in metaphysical and healing traditions.  Sara’s performance work is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.


About Shelton Mann’s pedagogy:  As we refine our kinesthetic perception, we begin to perceive messages—the Morse code of our collective body—in the patterning of energy, tissue, and motility. These messages form stories, and these stories form the “performance”. Sara brings a large toolbox to her workshops as research for the dedicated, the lost, the fierce and the inquisitive seeker. Building bridges between technical skill, improvisational ecstasy and compositional inquiry a field of artistry appears for the individual and the group.  


“The solo work with Sara actually emerges as a uniquely comprehensive journey through the self. Because her methods for generating are such an organic blend of physical/social/interpersonal/spiritual, the process really does transcend categorizations of "training" or "composing," and instead forms a kind of connective revelation on how we understand and experience ourselves in the world. Sara can work with you to produce astonishing specificity and poeticism, and both the process and the result will likely permanently change how you move, think, listen, and reflect.
PETER was the closest thing to truth that I've ever made. Sara bravely offered her skills and her actual personhood to the process, and in turn, I unlocked some of the most base and hidden colors that exist in me. The work became an exchange of deep but very humble witnessing, and with that tone laid down, we were able to make a piece that contained almost frightening emotional electricity, wild physical transcendence, and an overall viscerality and dynamism that really changed the temperature in the room; the moment; the atmosphere.”  

—Jesse Hewit, San Francisco based performance artist

“Sara is completely singular as an artist and as a teacher. She possesses an uncanny ability to instigate deep physicality, wildness, specificity, and presence through demanding that dancers engage their whole selves. Sara is magnificent. She is wise and intense. She can access magic in order to see and respond to dance artists individually on a fundamental level. Sara cultivates radical aliveness in dancing bodies. Working with her is exhilarating and challenging in the best possible way- she makes the impossible possible.”   
    -Anya Cloud, San Diego based Teacher, Performer, and Choreographer


Djerassi Resident Artists Program
2325 Bear Gulch Road  
Woodside, CA 94062

650 747-1250