On this page I will document the development of my project
“A Summers Dance with a Twist”.
This project is a performance, a collaboration between participants, who become dancers and musicians. An exploration between meditation and celebration.
13 dancers, each holding a lucette, a medieval braiding tool and a ball of wool are standing in a circle, shoulder to shoulder and begin slowly to create their own dance braids.
This is the meditative part of the performance, an invitation to the participants and the audience to a reflection about that every cloth, garment begins with a thread, about our relationship to wool, sheep, the earth we are standing on, on time, the time it takes to make a thread, a cloth, a garment by hand, about the value of hand made in our society.
In my vision, this part is supported by musicians, holding the space with a slow, warm rhythm.
When the dancers have braided the length of their dance braid, the music changes to a dance rhythm and the celebration begins! It has been a long standing, buried dream, which I am unearthing with is work, to bring a sense of celebration, real celebration with joy and dance and simple good food into my work.
After the performance audiences, participants and musician and everyone,who is there, is invited to celebrated with local bread, cheese and apple juice!
The blue wool in the photo is from the leftover wool, which Blacker Yarn (http://www.blackeryarns.co.uk/) had kindly donated to the wellmaking flowergarden Project. After the successful closing event in London in January 2015, the team agreed to let me have the remaining blue wool for my project!
Please share and keep in touch to see the project and performance come alive!
I am very exited to start this new project!!! I am planning for the end of May 2015 a performance, “A Maypole Dance with a Twist”.The performance is a part of my Masters Project for my MA in Art and Environment.This page will document the development of the project, info about practice session, which will be at Falmouth University, Tremough Campus. Right now I am looking for people who are interested to get involved, as participants (learning to braid with a Lucette and dancing a May Dance) and musicians, who are interested in supporting the dancers, while they are slowly braiding their dance ribbon with a gentle steady rhythm and then changing into an energetic dance tune! The date and the place for the performance will be confirmed in April 2015. I am looking forward to hear from everyone who is interested. Please send me a message with your interest and your email!
Update on the Project
The name has changed from a Maypole Dance to a Summers Dance!
For miscellaneous bunch of reasons !
the first two reasons are very practical,
a: no one committed to be a dancer, learn the braiding and the May Dance
b: Helen Musser , my friend and Folk Dance teacher, told me, that the dance braids have to be approximately 4.5 m long. There was no way I could have braided 13 x 4.50 m of braid in wool .
c. Helen also enlightened me, that the braids are only a Victorian addition to the May Dances and that these dances were enjoyed in the past all year round.
Only the May Dances have survived , predominantly as a performance for small children.
On reflection, it accured to me, that the Maypole symbolises a tree,roots in the earth and branches in the sky.
To keep things simple and go with what is, I needed to adapt my idea from a strongly choreographed performance to a more fluent and flexible participation event.
on Saturday , 30.May from noon, I will be at Kestle Barton with a supportive group of friends! There will be music and braiding, tea and cake! It will be a beautiful temporary community to celebrated making with our hands!
I am looking forward to everyone, who will join us!
And this happened:
On the 31. May 2015 ca. 20 friends and fellow students and colleges came to join me for an afternoon at Kestle Barton.
The gallery had kindly given permission to me to host this event in the lower round field.
Some friends came with their instruments and played improvised, acoustic music, while I showed people how to make braids using a lucet.
We had kids and dogs running around.
With great thanks to my local Morris Dance team we danced at the end a little serpent dance, before enjoying cake and tea!
People enjoyed themselves in this temporary community, experiencing time spend between new and old friends, learning a new skill, helping and supporting each other.
At the end of the day, literally, I felt great gratitude towards my very supporting local community. Most people had traveled from Penzance to the Lizard to support me!
As a resume i feel, that I created for a small group of people an interactive situation.People were willing to be guided in an activity and experience.
In the situation which had developed in was not possible to created a really quiet and meditative setting, in a way a strongly choreographed performances would have been able to deliver.
It has become clear to me, in order to realise a performance, such as the one I had in mind, i would need to work with a professional dance troupe, not so much for the dance skills, rather more for the conceptual understanding and commitment.
The same applies for the musicians; as much as I appreciated the input of the friends, who came and played, the were only a few, who really understand, what kind of responsive sound I had in mind.
The whole process has been a very valuable learning experience. I have become acutely aware, how much more preparation is required and how important it is to find participants, who understand or are willing to learning the conceptual intention.