EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH

Means that all work is rooted in the EARTH / BODY relationship.

Our place of enquiry explores all aspects of performance 

to include:

Movement

Voice

Characterisation

Storytelling

Theatre construct / sert costume

Actor / Audience Relationship

In context of how active connection with the earth and natural world inform or influence the quality of performance.

Over 20 years, some startling findings have been made and a large body of work developed that is currently collating into THE CENTRE OF EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH.

For now, here a little more on the KEY PRINCIPLES that have become characteristic to Spiderflower's approach:

  • EARTH / BODY FOCUS

The work and practice is as it says, where research and the resulting performance process is rooted entirely in the exploration of the earth / body relationship.

  • A SHARED LANGUAGE

Understanding the body is a sensitive and intelligent instrument, and is made of the substance of earth, this key principle invites the body to engage with the natural world at a cellular level. Within connection, dialogue will occur - through movement, through voice and in entirety we begin to unearth a SHARED LANGUAGE.  

  • TRANSLATION

Earthwork, which means hands on / feet on connection with the natural world makes up a significant proportion of the work.  Understanding we do not end where our skins stops, the actor is lead via technique to connect into pools of expression within the natural world. In this way, the receptive instrument of the body discovers it can act in translation.  

  • LANDSCAPE

Considers the lay of the land as it tells a story in its own right and is in constant expression.  Very often the work is site specific - long relationship with a place.

  • SEPARATION vs  CONNECTION.

Spiderflower's process then addresses the bigger picture, and pulls into focus exploration around the connected state vs separate state between the human being and natural world.  A large part of Spiderflower's work is to observe and research what then happens when a human being, as an individual, as a performer, as ensemble or collective, as audience or entire collective come into connection.

  • THE UNKNOWN

The ability to step into the unknown, to stay, continually on the edge of discovery - is something that is honed over time.  We have to learn to empty out.  So we can listen.  So we can hear.  So we can connect.  So we can allow authentic translation of what sits within us, and around us.  

The approach delivers us quickly, and powerfully in to the territory of the unknown, as expressions, quality of energy and so on may be alien to us initially - if we truly listen.  The work ahead is to stay engaged, to listen and allow - both from the standpoint of the human being and the stories that begin to rise up.

  • THE ACTOR AS CONDUIT

Working through this approach evokes a powerful internal process. For the actor, as a vessel, as an instrument, how then do those states effect expression?  As the actor anchors into external pools to draw from, via extension into the craft, we examine connective principles throughout all relationships - from the ensemble, through stage craft and onto actor / audience relationship.

 

  • UNEARTHING FORGOTTEN STORIES + CREATION OF NEW WORK:

Relationship and attention to one particular topic, or indeed place so the work is often SITE SPECIFIC - is very often ongoing, to a point where we will be working with that one thing for an extended period of time.  Most often years. 

 

Within that patient observation and exploration, on that edge of unknowing, the stories that live in those meeting places and want to unfold through dialogue - do so.  Bringing new things, never before seen things to light. This is a guiding principal for Spiderflower's approach.  

With the unknown always ahead of us, it is vital we never know or anticipate what the story will be.  We wait to translate and draw everything directly out of the land.

Coming from the place that we do not know, we are empty and ready to listen - then as translators we unearth, and catch those forgotten stories to translate them into a language that we all can understand.  In this way, while Spiderflower can adapt, and pick up any text and apply the practice to a prescribed piece of work, it is Spiderflower's remit to create original and new content.  

That we never know what is ahead of us, the work is to translate directly the stories that rest between body and earth - and wish to express.  The greatest discipline is to get out of the way entirely 

  • THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS:

Intense exploration of the performance process looks specifically to how the connective arts and developed techniques / working structures work at every level, through movement, through dance, through the voice, through writing, through language and delivery of text, to characterisation, to music to theatre construct, to costume, to set and to the relationship with the audience. This is under constant investigation, constant revision and under constant development. This framework then makes up the body of research for Spiderflower.

Research then puts techniques into practice, to see how they effect the clarity and the quality of performance and expression, and how that delivery then effects an audience. 

  • THEATRE -  THE OLDEST WATERING HOLE: 

So we arrive to question the nature of theatre in its own right. The approach is a natural catalyst to tip existing understandings and assumptions on their head.  As we examine how the process of earth-engaged performance bears fruit through the quality and prescion of the work, we must then seen how, when it is put into practice, it fairs.  

 

We must attend to the actor / audience relationship, and for creatives this will translate into your audience for your own form of art - for those attending open sessions, it will translate to your relationship around you.  But for our focus, with the actor as conduit, we look to and explore why might we have theatre in the first place (original questions), why does it exist, why and how has it been an art form that stretches back over thousands of years, if not millennia - what human need does it actually serve.  In this way, we travel back to the very roots of theatre.  To explore and research its place and its potential.  Does it serve its true potential today, and today, in these times - what does an audience need and want in their experience.

 

For Spiderflowers journey, theatre is perhaps the oldest watering hole.  A meeting place, where through the majic of storytelling, the ensemble and audience, many realms come together in different levels of communion and communication.  It is an event of communion.  A place were we may reflect, debate, listen.  It is a place of alchemy and transformation.  Of ceremony.  A boat to carry a journey, where the actors and audience travel together.  Via exploring the relationship of connectivity here we find many mirrors, within a cyclical relationship as the dynamics of performance go, the actor as conduit may draw down a connected performance which is different to any other technique, the audience we find, experiences this in a different way.  The actors connection will touch them and deliver them into their own internal landscape, mirroring, reflecting back and reminding.  The audience fall into empthaty - they travel along with the actor, and as the actor is conduit will ride the current to carry the boat as it goes.  The relationship is cyclical.

 

Rather than an 'us and them' relationship, Spiderflower works via the approach of including the audience within the make up of a piece.  To find ways to open the doors a little further, to invite them to step in as we understand we are in the same boat and journeying together.   This has been a vital part of Spiderflower's journey and development, as for a while the work was turned over to the audience for inclusion via workshops.  Now we are back out of that cycle with performance at the forefront and central focus, but we do not leave our audience behind.

It is the oldest watering hole.  As we travel together, through this shared experience, we are seeking awareness, solutions, understanding, ways forward, insights to the road ahead.

  • PARTICIPATION:

Spiderflower's repertoire of courses is now extensive and has developed over a long period of time, and offers a beautiful watering hole for actors, theatre makers, creators and human beings of every ilk to step into and continue with that journey of discovery.

To explore this further - please go to EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH under RESOURCES.

Earth-Engaged Performance Research is a term you might not ordinarily hear.  

It has taken quite some time to arrive at an accurate description for this body of work, that is immediate to understand.

Here is a little on exactly what Earth-Engaged Performance Research is,

and how it works

 

0. SPIDERFLOWER:  People often ask about the name. How Spiderflower originated has quite a long story.  In short, Spiderflower's overall choreography as an approach and tuition system is made up of a clear sequence of working structures and techniques. In action, when we set these out, the template for all teachings together form the shape of a Spider. Through practice, what is a certainty in terms the results seen again and again, is the process will take an actor or participant into their creative centre, and indeed flower the creative and expressive potential that is there.  It is simple, and how come Spiderflower is named as  such.

 

The work follows certain areas of focus and key principles:

EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH - KEY PRINCIPLES:

KEY PRINCIPLES:

EARTH / BODY FOCUS

SHARED LANGUAGE

TRANSLATION

LANDSCAPE - tells a story in its own right and is in constant expression.

SEPARATION VS CONNECTION

THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS

THE ACTOR AS CONDUIT

UNEARTHING + NEW WORK

THEATRE - THE OLDEST WATERING HOLE

EARTH / BODY FOCUS

Spiderflower's work and practice is as it says, where research and the resulting performance process is rooted entirely in the exploration of the earth / body relationship. Spiderflower carries sharp and clear focus.  It is without deviation, is precise and has to be kept simple. This may sound restrictive, but, in practice, when we step through the eye of this needle, considering both body and earth's intelligence and complexity as organisms, we are delivered into an arena of discovery that is endless. 20 years, only just scratches the surface - so it is vital focus is kept  sharp.

This key principle delivers us into the question of what it is to be human in the first place, as the body is such a miraculous organism - how does it actually work?  What then happens when the body goes back its root, and immerses into the substance it comes from? What lives here?  For performers, these are all vital and fascinating questions to be asking and those answers will go a long way to opening out our craft.  The answer lives in the question.  The answer is always in the question.  So we follow.  What do we find?

SHARED LANGUAGE

Spiderflower understands we are made of the substance of earth. It also understands the body is a sensitive and intelligent instrument.  This key principle invites the body to engage with the natural world at a cellular level.  When earth and body truly connect, a dialogue will begin to occur - through movement, through voice and in entirety, a certain alchemy takes place.  

 

A  simple way to explain this,

is we begin to unearth a SHARED LANGUAGE.  

 

One aspect of Spiderflower's research is to explore that shared language, what it is, how it moves and expresses, and how it is experienced and interpreted by its audience.

TRANSLATION

Earthwork, which means hands on / feet on connection with the natural world makes up a significant proportion of the work. Spiderflower understands 'We do not end where our skin stops', which delivers the actor to connect into pools of expression within the natural world. In this way and in connection, the receptive instrument of the body acts in translation.  

The approach delivers us quickly, and powerfully in to the territory of the unknown, as expressions, quality of energy and so on may be alien to us initially - if we truly listen.  The work ahead is to stay engaged, to listen and allow - both from the standpoint of the human being and the stories that begin to rise up.  This shared language is one that it is universal, as in our humanness, regardless of our race and culture, we all are made of the same substance, yet at the same time - the nuances and layers of expression influenced by the specific ancestry we hold creates beautiful and enormous diversity.

LANDSCAPE

SEPARATION vs  CONNECTION.

Spiderflower's process then addresses a much bigger picture, and pulls into focus exploration around the connected state vs separate state between the human being and natural world.  

 

Western life sees most of us live in a state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual disconnection. A large part of Spiderflower's work is to observe this and research what then happens when a human being, as an individual, as a performer, as ensemble or collective, as audience or entire collective come into connection.

THE UNKNOWN + THE ACTOR AS CONDUIT

For the actor, the ability to step into the unknown, to stay, continually on the edge of discovery - is something that is honed over time.  But it is essential.  We have to learn to empty out.  So we can listen.  So we can hear.  So we can connect.  So we can allow authentic translation of what sits within us, and around us -  this is our duty as actors for our audience.  

Working through this approach evokes a deep wake up call and powerful internal process. For the actor, as a vessel, as an instrument, how then do those states effect expression?  As the actor anchors into external pools to draw from, via extension into the craft, we examine connective principles throughout all relationships - from the ensemble, through stage craft and onto actor / audience relationship.

Research then puts techniques into practice, to see how they effect the clarity and the quality of performance and expression, and how that delivery then effects an audience. 

  • THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS

All elements weave together to create a performance process that is specific to Spiderflower and span from the conception of a piece, through its creation to delivery.

5. UNEARTHING FORGOTTEN STORIES + CREATION OF NEW WORK:

This edge leads to a path, the work is patient and slow. Time, and how we work with / understand this is another element that we have to adjust.  We have to slow down.

 

Relationship and attention to one particular topic, or indeed place so the work is often SITE SPECIFIC - is very often ongoing, to a point where we will be working with that one thing for an extended period of time.  Most often years. Within that patient observation and exploration, on that edge of unknowing, the stories that live in those meeting places and want to unfold through dialogue - do so.  Bringing new things, never before seen things to light. This is a guiding principal for Spiderflower's approach.  

 

Coming from the place that we do not know, we are empty and ready to listen - then as translators we unearth, and catch those forgotten stories to translate them into a language that we all can understand.  In this way, while Spiderflower can adapt, and pick up any text and apply the practice to a prescribed piece of work, it is Spiderflower's remit to create original and new content.  

6.  THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS:

Within this context, there is then intense exploration of the performance process and all the elements that matter to this.  This has ben developing now over a period of 20 years, and we are looking specifically to how the connective arts and developed techniques / working structures work at every level, through movement, through dance, through the voice, through writing, through language and delivery of text, to characterisation, to music to theatre construct, to costume, to set and to the relationship with the audience.  This is under constant investigation, constant revision and under constant development.  This framework then makes up the body of research for Spiderflower.

7. THEATRE -  THE OLDEST WATERING HOLE: 

So we arrive to question the nature of theatre in its own right. The approach is a natural catalyst to tip existing understandings and assumptions on their head.  As we examine how the process of earth-engaged performance bears fruit through the quality and prescion of the work, we must then seen how, when it is put into practice, it fairs.  

 

We must attend to the actor / audience relationship, and for creatives this will translate into your audience for your own form of art - for those attending open sessions, it will translate to your relationship around you.  But for our focus, with the actor as conduit, we look to and explore why might we have theatre in the first place (original questions), why does it exist, why and how has it been an art form that stretches back over thousands of years, if not millennia - what human need does it actually serve.  In this way, we travel back to the very roots of theatre.  To explore and research its place and its potential.  Does it serve its true potential today, and today, in these times - what does an audience need and want in their experience.

 

For Spiderflowers journey, theatre is perhaps the oldest watering hole.  A meeting place, where through the majic of storytelling, the ensemble and audience, many realms come together in different levels of communion and communication.  It is an event of communion.  A place were we may reflect, debate, listen.  It is a place of alchemy and transformation.  Of ceremony.  A boat to carry a journey, where the actors and audience travel together.  Via exploring the relationship of connectivity here we find many mirrors, within a cyclical relationship as the dynamics of performance go, the actor as conduit may draw down a connected performance which is different to any other technique, the audience we find, experiences this in a different way.  The actors connection will touch them and deliver them into their own internal landscape, mirroring, reflecting back and reminding.  The audience fall into empthaty - they travel along with the actor, and as the actor is conduit will ride the current to carry the boat as it goes.  The relationship is cyclical.

 

Rather than an 'us and them' relationship, Spiderflower works via the approach of including the audience within the make up of a piece.  To find ways to open the doors a little further, to invite them to step in as we understand we are in the same boat and journeying together.   This has been a vital part of Spiderflower's journey and development, as for a while the work was turned over to the audience for inclusion via workshops.  Now we are back out of that cycle with performance at the forefront and central focus, but we do not leave our audience behind.

It is the oldest watering hole.  As we travel together, through this shared experience, we are seeking awareness, solutions, understanding, ways forward, insights to the road ahead.

PARTICIPATION:

Spiderflower's repertoire of courses is now extensive and has developed over a long period of time, and offers a beautiful watering hole for actors, theatre makers, creators and human beings of every ilk to step into and continue with that journey of discovery.

KEY PRINCIPLES

EARTH / BODY FOCUS

LANDSCAPE - tells a story in its own right and is in constant expression.

WE DO NOT END WHERE OUR SKIN STOPS

TRANSLATION

SHARED LANGUAGE

SEPARATION VS CONNECTION

THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS

THE ACTOR AS CONDUIT

UNEARTHING + NEW WORK

THEATRE - THE OLDEST WATERING HOLE + BOAT TO CARRY THE JOURNEY

Over the years, a comprehensive body of work has evolved, a CENTRE FOR EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH is currently in development where Spiderflower's valuable findings are to be archived and made available as an educational resource.

 

In conjunction and as outreach, COURSES + TEACHING provide a rich and immersive forum of training for actors, dancers, creatives and organisations. 

Spiderflower's purpose is to artistically engage with the substance of which we are all made, to patiently connect with the inherent language that rests in this place, to go on to create original works and so endeavour to crack open the pulchritudinous nature of life itself into a new genre of performance, whilst on a broader level support a passionate and diverse community of change-makers develop and gift their work to the world.

To explore this further - please go to EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH under RESOURCES.

It has taken quite some time to arrive at the right description for this body of work.  Over the years it has visited various incarnations from dance to dance theatre, to earth dance theatre . . . and not of these are quite right.

 

Earth-Engaged Performance Research we arrived at a couple of years ago, and after stretching its ham strings for a period of time, this is landing in the most accurate description, that is immediate for you, as a dear reader, to understand.

Spiderflower does differ from other forms of landscape and environmental theatre, and the process it follows is precise and involved carrying a very specific intent and remit.

 

But what is this?  And how, exactly does it work?

KEY PRINCIPLES:

 

EARTH / BODY FOCUS

LANDSCAPE - tells a story in its own right and is in constant expression.

WE DO NOT END WHERE OUR SKIN STOPS

TRANSLATION

SHARED LANGUAGE

SEPARATION VS CONNECTION

THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS

THE ACTOR AS CONDUIT

UNEARTHING + NEW WORK

THEATRE - THE OLDEST WATERING HOLE + BOAT TO CARRY THE JOURNEY

 

 

 

 

0. SPIDERFLOWER:  People often ask about the name.  Spiderflower has quite a long story.  In short, there is a very clear map and sequence of working structures and techniques that make up this practice.   In the classroom, on paper when we set these out as you can see in Spiderflower's logo, the template for all teachings when they come together form the shape of a Spider.  In action and through that practice, what is a certainty in terms of how the work consistently effects practitioners is that the process will take them into their creative centre, and indeed flower their potential.  We've seen it over and over again.  So really, it is simple and how come Spiderflower is named as  such.

 

Digging under Spiderflower's skin - the work follows certain key principles which work as such:

1. ABSOLUTE FOCUS: THE EARTH / BODY RELATIONSHIP:

Spiderflower carries sharp and clear focus.  All work and all practice is rooted in the enquiry around the earth / body relationship.  Keeping to this very simple principle may sound restrictive, but, in practice, it is not.  What we as humans tend to miss is that the intelligent expression of the natural world is boundless.  When we step through the eye of the needle, we are delivered into an arena of learning and discovering that will keep on opening up.  After 20 years, we are only just scratching the surface - so it is vital our focus is clear, sharp and stays here as there is plenty to be going on with.

2. WE ARE MADE OF THE SUBSTANCE OF EARTH:  DISCOVERING A SHARED LANGUAGE:

Spiderflower considers the body as a SENSITIVE AND INTELLIGENT INSTRUMENT. We are all made of the substance of earth.  This principle delivers us into the question of what it is to be human in the first place, as the body is such a miraculous organism - how does it actually work?  What then happens when the body goes back its root, and immerses into the substance it comes from?  What lives here?  For performers, these are all vital and extremely fascinating questions to be asking and those answers will go a long way to opening out our craft.  The answer lives in the question.  The answer is always in the question.  So we follow.  What do we find?

At a cellular level, when earth and body truly connect, and go into dialogue through movement, through voice and in entirety, there is a certain alchemy that occurs.  In a very simple way to explain this, we begin to unearth a SHARED LANGUAGE.  One that, in actual fact, the body knows and understands - because it is born of the substance of earth.  In connection with, the receptive instrument of the body acts in translation.  The approach delivers us quickly, and powerfully in to the territory of the unknown. The work ahead of us is then to stay engaged, to listen and allow - all that needs to be said, expressed - both from the standpoint of the human being and the stories that begin to rise up from the oldest of places to be experienced and heard.  This shared language is one that it is universal, as in our humanness regardless of our race and culture we all are made of the same substance, yet at the same time - the nuances and layers of expression    

The body has an inherent ability to understand and interpret via the expressive arts When this happens, 

3. WORLD VIEW: SEPARATION vs  CONNECTION.

For the actor, entering into this approach will most certainly deliver them into a powerful personal internal process. Over the years, when people initially bump into this work, you'll get a top layer of an eye-roll, the assumption that this is 'hippy-work', and just has to be entirely flaky.  Um.  No.  In a word, and I will tell you why. The approach takes us to take a long cold look at our internal landscape.  As we live, in this day and age, most of us in the west live in a state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual disconnection from the natural world.  There is a lot to say about that and I will come to it, but for now - the simple equation resides:  The actors body is their instrument, it is born of the substance of earth, when they begin to connect with that (and remember we are talking about the substance of creation) then on a cellular level, this will evoke a deep wake up call and start the process of bringing an actors into alignment with life.  Which means, every part of that being that is dead, cut off or disconnect will - begin to breathe, to express - and for those of us who do work with the body as an instrument - then we need all of us to be alive, receptive and expressive in this way.  So.  This is the journey.  There is nothing hippy, flaky or who-who about it what so ever.  The path requires immense discipline.  It is painful.  We are fronted up with deeply challenging issues and we have to learn to empty out.  So we can listen.  So we can hear.  So we can connect.  So we can then allow authentic and deep translation of what sits within us, and around us - and it is our duty to do this as actors, for our audience.  

This process addresses a much bigger picture, and what to my own mind is at root of the environmental and extensional crisis we are now facing as a global community.  The problem is that we have become so separate, from the substance that sustains us, which has its own intelligence and so knows how to do life - but instead of listening and connecting, where those/ some cultures who over-ride and don't listen, who think they know it all and can dominate - drive the human race and the bigger picture into an exentensitual crisis of spiralling separation.   I say some, as not all cultures do, and these are the cultures we need to be listening to and learning from right now.

This is it in a nutshell.  If you want the central intent to Spiderflower's work - it is to address this, observe this and the research is all about what then happens when a human being, as an individual, as a performer, as an ensemble or collective, as an audience or entire collective.  Come back into connection.

This, and I say this after 20 years experience, is an intense, emotional, gruelling but at the same time breath-takingly beautiful and essential journey.

For the bigger picture.  We need this.  We need this now.  And fast.

Coming back to our remit, for theatre and performance, this is our area of study. For the actor, as a vessel, as an instrument, how then do those states effect expression?  Anchoring to pools from actors to draw from.  Via extension into the craft, we explore and examine the connective principles throughout all relationships - the ensemble, through stage craft and how any piece may be placed and onto the relationship with the audience.

4. INTO THE UNKNOWN + THE ACTOR AS CONDUIT:

What is essential, and what a major discipline a actor will have to hone over time is that ability to step into the unknown, to stay, continually on the edge of discovery - every time they step into the work space, throughout, for long duration and hold this while in performance.  The actor must master the skill of being an empty vessel or a hollow bone.  It is their job to translate.  To introduce what we have forgotten or that which we have become separate from.  Thata which is new and we don't know.  The actor as a magician.  As a conduit. We have to step out of our arrogance as human beings, which is disguised as insecurity and vulnerbility.  The truth is we don't know.  There is a major adjustment to make - and that is to step aside and let the earth take the reigns. I am tired of being considered as a bit stupid, or a bit daft when it comes to this.  For if we don't, the peril will be ours.  This is one principle and one constant - that we are on a perpetual journey of discovery and nothing can be more exciting that this.  It will lead us into wonderment and magic.  For what else are we other than magicians.

The practice and the research is then putting the techniques that Spiderflower has to practice, to see how they work and the results they then bring through the performance process.  How this effects the clarity and the quality of performance and expression, and how that delivery then effects an audience.

It means in practice:  Long and patient hours.  Dedication.  Developing the body as an instrument.  Listening.  Being open and always being willing to be surprised. Taking great risks.  

WE DO NOT END WHERE OUR SKIN STOPS

TRANSLATION

 

5. UNEARTHING FORGOTTEN STORIES + CREATION OF NEW WORK:

This edge leads to a path, the work is patient and slow requiring an incredible amount of dedication.  For me, it is a constant source of fascination.  Time, and how we work with / understand this is another element that we have to make adjustments.  Earth time is very different to human time.  And we have to slow down.  Relationship and attention to one particular topic, or indeed place so the work is often SITE SPECIFIC - is very often ongoing, to a point where we will be working with that one thing for an extended period of time.  Most often years. Within that patient observation and exploration, on that edge of unknowing, the stories that live in those meeting places and want to unfold through dialogue - do so.  Bringing new things, never before seen things to light. This is a guiding principal for Spiderflower's approach.  Coming from the place that we do not know, we are empty and ready to listen - then as translators we unearth, and catch those forgotten stories to translate them into a language that we all can understand.  In this way, while Spiderflower can adapt, and pick up any text and apply the practice to a prescribed piece of work, it is Spiderflower's remit to create original and new content.  In this way we make discoveries. through writing, through dance movement and technique.  Writing pieces and addressing subject matter that is relevant to the times we live in.

 

6.  THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS:

Within this context, there is then intense exploration of the performance process and all the elements that matter to this.  This has ben developing now over a period of 20 years, and we are looking specifically to how the connective arts and developed techniques / working structures work at every level, through movement, through dance, through the voice, through writing, through language and delivery of text, to characterisation, to music to theatre construct, to costume, to set and to the relationship with the audience.  This is under constant investigation, constant revision and under constant development.  This framework then makes up the body of research for Spiderflower.

7. THEATRE -  THE OLDEST WATERING HOLE: 

So we arrive at a further, deeper question - delivering us to question the nature of theatre in its own right. The approach is a natural catalyst to tip existing understandings and assumptions on their head.  As we examine how the process of earth-engaged performance bears fruit through the quality and prescion of the work, we must then seen how, when it is put into practice, it fairs.  We must attend to the actor / audience relationship, and for creatives this will translate into your audience for your own form of art - for those attending open sessions, it will translate to your relationship around you.  But for our focus, with the actor as conduit, we look to and explore why might we have theatre in the first place (original questions), why does it exist, why and how has it been an art form that stretches back over thousands of years, if not millennia - what human need does it actually serve.  In this way, we travel back to the very roots of theatre.  To explore and research its place and its potential.  Does it serve its true potential today, and today, in these times - what does an audience need and want in their experience.

 

For Spiderflowers journey, theatre is perhaps the oldest watering hole.  A meeting place, where through the majic of storytelling, the ensemble and audience, many realms come together in different levels of communion and communication.  It is an event of communion.  A place were we may reflect, debate, listen.  It is a place of alchemy and transformation.  Of ceremony.  A boat to carry a journey, where the actors and audience travel together.  Via exploring the relationship of connectivity here we find many mirrors, within a cyclical relationship as the dynamics of performance go, the actor as conduit may draw down a connected performance which is different to any other technique, the audience we find, experiences this in a different way.  The actors connection will touch them and deliver them into their own internal landscape, mirroring, reflecting back and reminding.  The audience fall into empthaty - they travel along with the actor, and as the actor is conduit will ride the current to carry the boat as it goes.  The relationship is cyclical.

 

Rather than an 'us and them' relationship, Spiderflower works via the approach of including the audience within the make up of a piece.  To find ways to open the doors a little further, to invite them to step in as we understand we are in the same boat and journeying together.   This has been a vital part of Spiderflower's journey and development, as for a while the work was turned over to the audience for inclusion via workshops.  Now we are back out of that cycle with performance at the forefront and central focus, but we do not leave our audience behind.

It is the oldest watering hole.  As we travel together, through this shared experience, we are seeking awareness, solutions, understanding, ways forward, insights to the road ahead.

PARTICIPATION:

Spiderflower's repertoire of courses is now extensive and has developed over a long period of time, and offers a beautiful watering hole for actors, theatre makers, creators and human beings of every ilk to step into and continue with that journey of discovery.

KEY PRINCIPLES

EARTH / BODY FOCUS

LANDSCAPE - tells a story in its own right and is in constant expression.

WE DO NOT END WHERE OUR SKIN STOPS

TRANSLATION

SHARED LANGUAGE

SEPARATION VS CONNECTION

THE PERFORMANCE PROCESS

THE ACTOR AS CONDUIT

UNEARTHING + NEW WORK

THEATRE - THE OLDEST WATERING HOLE + BOAT TO CARRY THE JOURNEY

Over the years, a comprehensive body of work has evolved, a CENTRE FOR EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH is currently in development where Spiderflower's valuable findings are to be archived and made available as an educational resource.

 

In conjunction and as outreach, COURSES + TEACHING provide a rich and immersive forum of training for actors, dancers, creatives and organisations. 

Spiderflower's purpose is to artistically engage with the substance of which we are all made, to patiently connect with the inherent language that rests in this place, to go on to create original works and so endeavour to crack open the pulchritudinous nature of life itself into a new genre of performance, whilst on a broader level support a passionate and diverse community of change-makers develop and gift their work to the world.

To explore this further - please go to EARTH-ENGAGED PERFORMANCE RESEARCH under RESOURCES.

Spiderflower is a body of new work focused on the earth / body relationship

explored via the expressive arts.  

In these urgent times, our understanding of our first, and most important relationship

may hold vital keys to bring positive and lasting change.