A decade ago, I came across a sculpture of a peasant woman that captured my attention. Year after year, I would visit this rendering of a contadina in MUSMA, a sculpture museum in Matera, Italia.

Being nearly the same size as each other, on one visit I decided to place myself in her exact position in an attempt to comprehend my fascination with her. Once I took on her form, I discovered her secret.

The secret slowly grew in me over time, eventually becoming the ten-minute dance film, What is Refuge? Che Cos’è il Rifugio?

Filmed in San Falcione, Matera, filmmaker Prue Jeffries then crafted the film. Composer Morena Boschetto contributed the musical score. We all worked in close collaboration with each other to share “her” story – a universal story of all who can’t breathe, or all who seek refuge…

~ Elaine Colandrea, dancer/choreographer

Filmed with permission in San Falcione, Parco Murgia Timone, Matera, Italia.


Special thanks to Maria Teresa Barbaro & Paolo Montagna, Director CEA