"The concert of existence places me in resonance with our biosphere, meaning that at this moment there is no "body" no separation; I am part of the swirl of bio-morphic unfolding. I am not bound by culture or language. The deepening of sensation allows me to be without category. I transfer the moisture of my cells, join the wet of the grass, the pour of the ocean, the stars that watch over the night. The plants breathe, my skin is wet, we are here. This fundamental umbilical to life without category is for me the first stage of sanity."
-Emilie Conrad, Life on Land
EMILIE CONRAD the founder of Continuum, somatic pioneer, visionary mentor and friend, passed away peacefully in her home in Encino on the morning of April 14, 2014, surrounded by her caring healing team and loved ones.
Emilie Conrad was born and raised in New York City where she studied ballet and Afro-Haitian dance. Her early influences were Sevilla Fort, Katherine Dunham, Robert Joffrey and Don Farnsworth.
Subsequently, she spent five years as a choreographer with a folklore company in Haiti furthering her interest in Haitian dance.
Her love for movement inspired her to discover the essential, primary movements common to all life forms that lie beneath cultural influence. These fundamental movements are a "cosmology" of life, where form is fluidly mutable, dissolving and shaping itself anew.
In 1963 she moved to Los Angeles where she began teaching at the Actors Studio. Her novel approach to movement enriched the performing artist and led to choreographing and directing many plays and performance works.
Her choreography has been seen at: the Japan America Theatre, John Anson Ford, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Theatre West, Pasadena Art Museum, Highways, UCLA, Actors Studio West. She continued to develop the art of performance until the last few months of her life.
In 1974, she pioneered a protocol for spinal cord injury. From 1974 to 1979, Emilie was Movement Specialist in a research study conducted by Dr. Valerie Hunt at UCLA. This groundbreaking study demonstrated that fluid, primary movement is essential in our ability to innovate.
Enhancing these fundamental movements has a potential to create a rich intrinsic environment that brings forth new insights in our understanding of the human body and its potential to create alternate systems.
Emilie's capacity for innovation became an inspiration and continues to inform the fields of Somatics, movement education, and physical fitness.
Emilie tells us, "Becoming aware of the primordial-cosmic flows of information can be instrumental in diffusing our cultural inhibitors, helping us to move beyond our stifling adaptive patterns, ultimately becoming a resource for health and creativity."
She authored Life on Land, published by North Atlantic Press.
Emilie's presence, intelligence, wit and guidance will be missed by her many devoted students and friends who carry on her work around the globe.