Maderas was a Residency that reset the bar in terms of professional art spaces, a next level guest teacher line-up and WTF moments collectively experienced. We boil down the TOP 10 moments that made the Momentom Maderas Residency our top pick for a semi-permanent residency location for 2020-2021 (link to apply)
1. Final Blindfolded Dinner for the Senses
The kitchen crew kept it secret until the moment we arrived for our gratitude circle at 7 PM. All they said was to bring our blindfolds. So we did. We collectively accepted although we had no idea what was about to happen.
As we sat, we were then asked to place our Sound Off headsets onto our ears, and so began the sound journey with Tamara Montenegro on her DJ decks behind us. Blindfolded and activated by sound, we were served a three-course meal. We used our hands to put the mystery food in our mouths – each bite a vibrant adventure of taste, texture and intention. At the same time, feathers tickled out bodies and ice cubes drizzled down our arms.
The dessert was off the chart. We removed our blindfolds, and opened our eyes to a table full of scrumptious gluten-free and home-made vegan desserts with more toppings handed to us to drizzle on the table like an edible community portrait! We stood, still with headphones on ears, to feed each other and ourselves while we danced the night away.
2. Sunset Catamaran Cruise
Fast becoming the annual signature event at Momentom, the catamaran adventure is simple yet extremely potent. Put 30 amazing dancers, DJs, and life -loving humans on a water device. Add live music, a sunset and bomb guacamole and we have what most say was one of the most memorable days of their lives.
3. Masked Ecstatic Dance with Mose & Kristina Block
Welcoming Kristina Block to the circus familia – a goddess who teaches the art of embodied mask work – felt like a long awaited warm hug. Kristina works with those courageous enough to explore the mechanics of how we build our own masks, and the methods to remove them. Together, we spent time discussing the potent magic of infinitely re-creating ourselves through masked work, we then painted our own individual masks.
At our weekly Friday morning ecstatic dance, residents walked to the dance floor to find Mose masked and in full throttle into his signature beats. Residents put on their masks to dance the morning away and participated in a once in a lifetime experience that truly has you asking “is this even real”? Yup. It sure was.
4. Rooftop Full Moon Parties
Let’s be real, we like to get down and silly – consciously of course. Over the years, we’ve made it a thing to stop to celebrate the full moon. We decided to invite the curious locals and expats of San Juan Del Sur, who may or may not have heard about the frolics of Momentom Collective. Why not invite them in for a taste?
This one particular Full Moon at Maderas Involved a delicious opening cacao ceremony and DJ set with Mose over sunset, with a succession of not one, not two, but FOUR DJ’s throughout the night including, J Pool, Tamara Montenegro and Mexico’s Cedro. While we ate the crazy yummy food by Javier, our performers decided to put on a show, but not just any show: hair hanging and slacklining by Julien Desforges, Singing by Melissa & Arya Interpretative Ninja-ing with Tony and his friends. Basically the crowd went from “oh, this is cool” to “WTF is happening” … just how we like it.
5. The Roast by Guillermo
Probably the funniest man ever to walk in residency, we introduce to you Guillermo – a comic in disguise. Guillermo came in as a social media assistant helping the collective spread the word about the magic that happens in house. Low and behold, the guy is also a stand up comedian and the roast he put on for 20+ people left half of us peeing our pants. From one of the founders being a decoy dominatrix, to the hilarious subtleties of “Momentom problems” ( “What’s the deal with so much ‘holding space’ for each other…I mean in all reality, space is holding YOU!”), the guy got every single one of us GOOD.
6. Sunset Flow Jams and Tam Tams on the Beach
As if training in music production, dance and yoga every day wasn’t enough, the residency is also steps away from one of the best surfing beaches in all of Nicaragua’s stunning coast. Maderas Beach is home to its infamous Maderas Rock, and intermediate to advance waves, soft sand and gorgeous sunsets. Every week, we conglomerated there, brought our instruments, our voices, our bodies, danced, and played practiced handstands (um, sandstands?) and acroyoga. One particular time, the vibe ambassador himself, Dakota Thompson, brought his djembe to the beach and ignited a drum beat dance off on the beach which left observers with their jaw to the ground.
7. Bodyscape Photoshoots with Misty Moss
You all know her, Misty Moss, that sexy photographer and burlesque babe that Momentom brings in for photography purposes, but really it’s about the empowered sexuality she brings forward in basically everything she does.
Misty had an idea for women’s day to bring all of the female residents onto the beach to create shapes with their bodies as a collective, empowering residents to take part of an art project that de-sexualized the body and turned it into a powerful visual art. The resulting images speak for themselves.
8. Naoba aka Tamara Montenegro’s In-Studio Boiler Room Set
Another very empowered woman in the Momentom tribe is Nicaragua-born DJ Tamara Montenegro aka Naoba. A sound producer and a biologist in one, she is able to take listeners into extremely deep, subliminal sound journeys that ignite the reptilian core in all of us. She set off the entire residency with the first ecstatic dance and took us on a journey of understanding sound shapes within our human experience. With a world class music studio available to all residents, Tamara invited residents to a Boiler Room style set where she captured the live movement to some of her amazing unreleased originals mixed with the weirdness that Momentom brings to an intimate party – lasers included!
9. Sunset Yin Yoga on the Rooftop
The Momentom Residency in Nicaragua consists of various art hubs in loft spaces, including a jungle yoga deck, a visual arts palace, a digital creation hub and a meditation space. One of our favourites however, is a rooftop overlooking the ocean. Start with the mesmerizing orange hues of the sun dipping into the ocean’s endless horizon, sprinkle in some yin yoga with live music mixed in and magic is sure to be experienced. The idea is for you to fully immerse within yourself and to tap into that silent space where all answers lie. Our favourite session was led by Perry, with live music by Mose, Melissa and Dakota. Luckily we just so happened to have a documentary videographer, Jerome of Kommune.TV, fly in from Florida to capture some of it:
10. Bringing in Community Building & Permaculture with Stephen Brooks & Andrea Belen
Momentom has set intentions to gear the brand towards more permaculture, green-building and sustainability-based education as part of our residency program. We’ve always envisioned a community that is based on festival culture and transcendence of the self through art, now what happens when you bring in the deep understanding of biomimicry and natural cycles of nature in the mix.
We decided to bring in the wild, the wacky and the extremely inspiring Stephen Brooks, along with his empowered partner Andrea Belen to talk about their experience creating business, festivals and self awareness through their individual projects – namely founding Envision Festival or NonViolent Communication with the Infinite Self.
*** A Community in Quarantine
We can’t not mention that half of our Residency was spent as a community in quarantine. Going through a global epidemic on your own is one thing, doing so as a community, away from home in a developing country is a whole other experience. It was a test of how a true community makes decisions together, sets policy and holds each other accountable. Living in uncertainty and having to make difficult decisions that pertain to whether or not you might be stuck abroad for the foreseeable future (many of us are still ‘stuck’ in Nicaragua) was proven to be much easier with the support of so many beautiful reflections within the ‘opportunity’ (which we chose to call it) and seeing the positivity in these changing times.
*** Johnny Becoming a Real Life Turtle
One afternoon, John Early, Co-Founder of Momentom decided it would be an interesting experiment to mimic a turtle on the beach…. For hours on end. At first, we thought he was kidding. Had he lost his mind again? Let’s observe. It didn’t stop, not for a very long time. As he dragged his pretend baby turtle legs onto the ground, we tried to figure out what exactly he was trying to reproduce. As he finally entered the water to face the waves head on, we realize, oh dear god -Johnny has become a turtle.