Emilie Conrad’s approach to movement education, health, and healing is as varied and deeply textured as her life story. In Life on Land, she interweaves the story of her Brooklyn childhood and discovery of dance with the psychic and physical collapse that led to the development of Continuum, her groundbreaking movement and self-realization technique. Readable, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, the book melds Conrad’s unique theories of the body-mind frontier with fearless discussions of Jewish heritage, sexuality, female identity, and social pressures.
Emilie Conrad, the founder of Continuum, was born and raised in New York City where she studied ballet and Afro-Haitian dance. After moving to Los Angeles in 1963, she began teaching at the Actors Studio, where her novel approach to movement helped performing artists and led to her choreographing and directing numerous plays and performance works. In 1974, Conrad pioneered a protocol for spinal cord injury, and from 1974 to 1979 she 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.
Considered a visionary in movement education, Conrad’s inspiring work has been incorporated by an international audience of professionals from fields such as Rolfing, Zero balancing, Hellerwork, Craniosacral therapy, Osteopathy, physical therapy, dance, Psychoneuroimmunology, and physical fitness. She teaches Continuum workshops around the world.
“In Life on Land, Emilie Conrad offers us pulsating stories and bold
insights intounscripted awakenings. This book engages those of us who dare to
perceive our primordial self in the mystical and practical journey through oceanic
depths of existence. Rich and alive. A great book.”
—Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, founder and educational director, The Schoolfor Body-Mind Centering and author of Sensing, Feeling and Action
“In this magnificent volume, Emilie Conrad details her courageous journeys–from
the raw movements of jazz through the ecstatic rituals of Haiti to the pulsing
rhythms studied by neuroscience—weaving these seemingly disparate worlds
together into a discipline for those of us who have to find our way through
the confusions of this strange era. This book gives a clear sense of the origins
of Conrad’s healing work and its major implications for reshaping a more
—Don Hanlon Johnson, Professor of Somatics, California Institute of Integral Studies and author of Everyday Hopes, Utopian Dreams
“…Emilie Conrad boldly unfolds the larger mystical and practical
implications of her lifework, positing a “life on land” in which
both the human body and consciousness can be restored to its original fluid,
innate, intelligent participation in the cosmic dance of life. A provocative
and thoughtful distillation of an extraordinary life and inspired work from
one of our somatic elders and healers, rooted in direct shamanic experience
—Amanda Foulger, faculty member of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies