In 2020, I will be doing something I have wanted to do for many a year: lead a retreat to my favorite spot on earth. Read on!
The Ancient Sanctuary of the Great Mother
A Gathering for Women led by Marylee Hardenbergh
September 29 – October 6, 2020
In a high valley between two mountains in central Greece lies a place called Dodona, an ancient oracle where the Great Mother was worshipped for millennia.
For many years, I have longed for a wondrous group of women to experience this sanctuary with me. So come, you strong-hearted dancers/choreographers! Come gather at my favorite site on Earth.
In my vision, we create sacred dances, individually and in synchrony, held by the Great Mother. The energy of the sanctuary flowing into us will become a lasting, deep, embodied connection.
Afterward, we disperse to our distant sites. On a day months hence, at precisely the same moment, we dance together, connecting our lands through movement, through simultaneity, through our intention. We will burst like a seed pod, the same dance scattered across separate continents, to cohere the spiritual energy of the planet.
Our experience will be inspired by Dodona itself, and informed by my own history as a dance therapist and site-specific choreographer. I will help us become a strong collaborative group of dancers, and choose a date to synchronize our “distant dance.”
More about Dodona and the Retreat
The modern day Dodona, now called “Dodoni,” lies in a valley with very clean air, and a calm vibrancy which I felt the first time I visited twenty years ago. Here, at the archeological site, the Great Mother was worshipped for centuries, if not a millenium, before the Athenians dedicated a temple to Zeus older than the oracle at Delphi.
Retreatants and I will stay in Dodoni at the amazing Mirtali Art Hotel; its restaurant overlooks the valley and the Sanctuary. I have stayed there several times and it is wonderful. Mirtali combines artistic design with luxury accommodation. The hotel food, cooked by the mother of the owners, is amazing! Rooms are decorated in a unique style, each named after a Greek god or goddess. The hotel overlooks the Dodoni valley and ancient theater. It is 15 min drive from Ioannina.
For part of each day, we will visit the ancient site, to absorb the peace of this Sanctuary of the Great Mother into our movements; at times we will be alone and at other times, visitors will come.
Each retreatant will also have time each day to take a trip to Mediterranean beaches, to visit the local city and its famous silversmiths, to relax at a scenic café in the mountains, and to take beautiful mountain walks.
Schedule (subject to change)
Tuesday September 29
Dinner and Welcoming Celebration at Mirtali Art Hotel
Wednesday September 30 (and all weekdays)
9.30 – 11.30 – Gathering at the Sanctuary
11:30 – 1:00 – Lunch
1.00 – 3.00 – Back to Sanctuary
3.00 – 6.30 – Free Time
6.30 – 7.30 – Gathering ideas + drinks
7.30 – Dinner
8.30 or 9.00 – Reflection Circle
Saturday October 3 and Sunday October 4
9.30 – 11.30 – Gathering at the Sanctuary
Excursion to the Ionian Sea (or other destinations)
Is this Retreat for you?
Yes! If you are:
- A woman – The Retreat is for women only and limited to nine participants.
- Up for mild physical activity – The old temple is a 10-minute walk from the Sanctuary entrance (approx. 1/3 mile). The movements which we will be doing together will be created at the site, and no athletic moves will be required. Typically, more stately moves tend to emerge for this type of dance.
- Up for dancing with us – NO previous experience required !
Cost of Retreat:
Retreat price is €1,000 (US $1,125 at the current exchange rate)
Retreat price includes:
- single occupancy hotel room
- breakfast and dinner each day
- and excursions
Dancers will arrange their own transportation to the hotel in Dodoni/Manteio. I have traveled to the nearby city, Ioannina, many times. If you have questions, I am happy to discuss them. There are several flight and bus/car options (including Thessaloniki and Corfu).
Happy to answer questions. You can call me at 612-616-0306 or email me at email@example.com.
Come dance with us; no previous experience required!
I’d love you to join me!