Our Journey to
Forgotten Land

Our story begins with stillness.
Forgotten Land is something that exists; waiting for us just beyond the horizon of our creative selves. It is always there, and has always been there, calling us to rediscover the truth awaiting within.

Each journey begins with a core structure.

When we arrive in a new place together, the first step is to build a dance floor. In order to build any kind of foundation , we must first connect to the space we are occupying. Once we have developed a relationship with the energetic field of the land, we can then begin to build.

Each pole placed in the earth, is a ritual, and each palm frond laid upon the roof is a prayer. This act of creativity seeds the earth, and prepares it for the coming of our tribe.

We continue the journey within ourselves.

Once our space is prepared, we dive into the realms of movement, dance, and body. We enter the space with curiosity about our own inner artist and the desire to bring to life what has lain dormant within each of us.  We come together to discover the ways that our minds experiences our bodies, and the ways that our bodies experiences the world.

We find our community and learn to grow together.

Entering into a field like Forgotten Land, results in a vibrant family of co-creators. The facilitators and collaborators here provide a foundation of love and trust, just as our dance floor provides a foundation of smooth sand and vinyl.

We remind each other, "You don't have to do this alone."

This final step on the journey is always taken together.

Here we can finally join each other in a state of deep release and relief. Now, it is our time to remember what we have once forgotten. Within the land of our own being, we rediscover the experience of being truly carried and supported. We cease to judge ourselves, and open into our true quantum being. We choose to honor all emotions here; joy, sorrow, bliss, and anger. And soon, playfulness finds it’s way back into the space, and returns us to the wisdom of our inner child. Our agendas and our worries fall away and we allow the wave of the experience to carry us home.

Volker Eschmann

At Forgotten Land gatherings, you may find yourself amidst a sea of smiling faces, dancing bodies, and expressive hearts. But what you might not see at the first glance, is the hard work, dedication, and months of preparation that it takes to bring this community together. Each of us contribute to this process, but none of it would be possible Volker Eschmann.

Known amongst our community as ‘the quiet lion’ Volker acts as our bridge between the “normal” commercial world – and the magical, expressive field that we call Forgotten Land.  He takes on the stress and politics that the organization of each event requires, so that we, as a community, can gather in a space that is beyond time, beyond story, and beyond illusion.

“All arts have the same source,” Volker tells us, “ It doesn’t matter if you are a painter, a musician, or a dancer. Creativity exists within each of us. I do my best to bring the right people together in the right places – so that each of us can discover our inner artist.”

One of the most important values in Volker’s life, is trust. “Reliability is my closest companion,” he says, “And holding this standard is not always easy. I have learned not to promise more than what is possible, and simultaneously to believe in the strength of this energetic vortex – to bring us back to balance.”

Volker has spent the last 14 years of his life growing and building the international Forgotten Land community. His mission is to support the discovery and creativity of both individual and group creativity through art, music, movement, and performance. As a former workshop facilitator and ceremony holder, Volker now focuses on creating the spaces for other’s flourish, share their gifts, and discover their own potential.

“I try to find the crack in the system where eternity can shine through. And when I find it, I hold the door open, and we enter together.”

Our Team

Vega Katri Luukkonen

I am dancer, dance-teacher, performance-artist and bodyworker made in Finland, but currently based in Berlin, India, and nomadic temporary moments in time and space. From the formal side of my life I have studied in Finland – in Theatre Academy of Finland (TEAK) and Metropolia AMK, graduated from TEAK 2008 as dance- and theatre-teacher (MA). Though – I guess my dearest high-school and university in dance and contact-improvisation has been the finnish contact community, where I have learned so much, by sharing the dance and rolling point with the other spiralling, beautiful people.

Tara (Iriis Raipala)

I am dance artist; performer and teacher living in Helsinki, Finland. I graduated in 2004 as Master of Arts in dance from the Theatre Academy of Finland. I also studied dance in School for New Dance Developement (S.N.D.O.) in Amsterdam and in many workshops around the world. I’ve been working closely with improvisation and contact improvisation in several performing groups. I am one of the organizers of Goa contact festival and Skiing on Skin -festival in Finland. I graduated recently as certified iyengar yoga teacher. 

Lia Pavlidis

Lia Pavlidis is a passionate dancer and a dedicated dance teacher. She is also a singer and performer, heartful communicator, energy worker and coach. Lia studied Rajasthani Gypsy Dance, Afro Carrebean, Release Technique, Qigong, Gaga Technique, Contact Improvisation, as well as other progressive urban styles. With a wide focus on the emotional, physical and energetic body in general, Lia’s curiousity for movement and body language is endless. Her dance is always soulful, blending street style with a deeply spiritual inner power, connecting mother earth and father sky, with the tongue of an urban shaman.

Ben Pavlidis

Ben Pavlidis is an inspired, strong hearted musician with every cell of his body. He is a songwriter, and a rapper with a great enthuisasm for grounded and clear beats and sounds ,which he also produces himself for his latest electro project DUNG.

20 years experience in his back he is known as the frontman of the berlin band OHRBOOTEN. His open minded nature makes him to connect with people in the musical cosmos where ever he is. His first contact with improvisation was freestyle rap in 2002.

Pascal de Lacaze-Duthiers

Pascal de Lacaze from Berlin plays music at events around the globe. His focus on rhythm and dance has made him friends in many communities: Dancers dig how his innovative DJ style connects with his energetic, modern drumming. Bands and Kirtan artists appreciate his steady, rocking world percussion and transcendental grooves. Since 2010 Pascal organizes Ecstatic Dances in Berlin. He is the resident DJ, accompanies his DJ sets with live percussion and cocreates live dance journeys. In workshops and at festivals he facilitates Body Bhajan – a fun and easy combination of chanting and body percussion.

Arun Ji, Ecstatic Dance Dj

Arun Ji

Arun Ji has 10 years of experience as a conscious dance DJ, trained in emotional awareness and tantra with Astiko Lopez and is passionate for Gabrielle Roth’s teachings of the 5 Rhythms. Arun offers a wide spectrum of rhythms and melodies, with a range of sensations and emotions, creating a space of connection and exploration. In his musical journeys  meditation and celebration melt together in the dance.


Marielle Gerke

Marielle is born in Berlin, living in Witzenhausen near Kassel (Germany) since 2010. There she discovered her passion for dancing – especially for Contact Improvisation in 2012. Since then she is continuously fascinated by this unique and exciting dance form. She loves the playfulness that lays in it and the diversity of movement options that become available when moving together with shared weight. For her is remarkable how clear nonverbal communication can become if both dance partners allow their bodies to truly fall into each other while listening to the proposed directions of movement under the skin. In her practice as a dancer and teacher the exploration of developmental movement patterns, principles of leading and following over the soft tissues of the body and water work are very useful and exciting. She is interested in exploring anatomical structures in hands on work and while dancing.
Zinn Da

Zinn Da

NGO Board

ZINN DA (IN) is a spiritual traveler spreading happiness around the world.

After a long and successful stint as a cyber wiz-kid, who has given consultancy to numerous clients across the globe, one day I realized that something is missing in my life. Life was more then money, name and fame. Perhaps the inner self had a strong conviction that humanity and diversity are missing and making me a not so complete human being. Tt was then I decided to start a fresh in a quest to become more enlightened and a person with human touch. The great Guru Osho paved the way to a new journey of life. Further involvement with Osho International Meditation Resort at Pune and Osho Humaniversity, Holland has provided new meanings to the life. A life that belongs to many more then me. A life which is a golden opportunity for love, peace, knowledge and humanity.

Malcolm Manning Contact Improvisation

Malcolm Manning

researcher, educator, mentor and artist. In my classes, I share my inquiry of what it is to be a thinking, feeling, moving subject in this world through developing a dialogue with ourselves and our environment in which we are empowered to be our own experts. I specialise in teaching the application of somatic approaches to contemporary dance practices and teach courses in both the Danish and Finnish national schools of dance. I’m also interested in how this work can be applied wider society. I am certified to teach the Feldenkrais Method® and the Body And Earth work developed by Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose. I studied for two years at SNDO Amsterdam and have an MA in Dance Pedagogy. I also made extensive studies of Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Movement Shiatsu, Body Mind Centering and experiential anatomy. I have danced Contact Improvisation since 1991 and was part of the group of regular students who studied with Nancy Stark Smith throughout the 1990s while she was developing what eventually became known as the UnderScore.  


Monica & Samuel

Quinta Braz, Algarve Portugal

We have been building in new ways, with respect for the tradition, our grandfather’s farm into an organic ecological home. The gatherings give us time to be together with the CI community, connecting with nature and being part of the country side life during the blessed harvesting time of September. Time to collect carobs, figs and almonds while celebrating the gifts of nature in our dance. As a young native Portuguese couple who met in Berlin,and after roaming a few years abroad, we both felt a strong desire to come back. So we did, and three years back, having a few days at the empty family farm house, we both felt the place is asking us to stay here since then and we have recently been blessed with the birth of our little sprout at home, in the nest we have been constructing since then.



Anand Dhotre

Anand Dhotre

Golden Pyramid, Arambol Beach Goa, India

Since more then 15 years Anand has been realizing at Arambol Beach various restaurants & retreats  known under the name Blue Pyramids. Nowadays as well owner of the YT Inn Guesthouse in Arambol. 2015 he decided to support the artists community and give his new place The Golden Pyramid into a collaboration with Forgotten Land. He runs the restaurant and wonderful retreat on the beach with dignity and became a skilled dancer himself.