THE RIVER THAT FINDS US
1 YEAR FOUNDATION COURSE
5 x 4 Days, Spanning 1 Year
Starts February 2021
LOCATIONS: AVEBURY - UK / SNOWDONIA - UK / CORNWALL - UK
One of the most empowering and transformational courses in Spiderflower's repertoire, The River That Finds Us undertakes a years journey into the shared language of emotion, the body and the natural world.
It travels through dedicated landscape in the UK, and presents an opportunity to rewrite and realign our emotional choreography, whilst initiating a path of co-dreaming between earth and soul.
Through Spiderflower's dance and earthwork in progressed forms, the course provides a robust foundation in all aspects of Spiderflower's practice.
CONTENT & STRUCTURE
Spiderflower's 3 stanzas of attention; The I, The We and The Holy settle into
clear areas of focus, yet weave simultaneously throughout the course
THE I: EMOTION
Spiderflower's Dance & The Progressed 4 Point Wheel
We start with our direct and personal relationship with emotion. To explore exactly what it is, why we have it and the role it plays in terms of the soul's path.
The I. The realm of the self. Our internal landscape.
Like water, emotion is fluid, changing form in an instant. As it flows through the landscape of the body, it ultimately shapes us, our life and our world. Such a powerful force, an enigma unto itself, it is so keenly felt in the physical and yet remains invisible. Somehow, omnipresent, it is a divine and fascinating force. But strong enough and close enough to the physical body to shape it to its will.
How it flows through the body and our relationship with it - is absolutely key. Our understanding of what emotion actually is, is vital. So much time and energy can be spent being rocked, water-logged or drowned out out by whirlpools of feeling. At others, people can find themselves numb and locked out. Within Spiderflower's work, our aim is to create balance and healthy flow, whilst allowing clear, passionate and fluid expression.
So very often deep choreographies live here, old patterns that impede our creative fluidity. Internally, emotion is something we deal with every single day, so how we dance with this pervasive force has incredible influence over our lives.
So what is the dance? For you? Everyone will have a different choreography, and each of us will have a different story.
What is probably the most important understanding to get to
is that emotion is a great, great teacher.
It does have a very specific job to do - if we let it.
Our work is about coming to understand what this is.
This stanza within THE RIVER THAT FINDS US is not about catharsis, or self indulgence. This element is about stepping back a little, becoming objective and coming to understand the role of emotion and the intelligence held within on a deep and sacred level. It is about working with emotion as a true pheomina, housed in the body as we maintain our curiosity and explore how it serves us. We are not slaves to it. As we meet that everchanging energy and dance into balance, our relationship with it can transform from something we struggle with to becoming a true, beautiful and intelligent ally to the soul.
The ongoing journey undertaken through Spiderflower's dance in conjunction with the 4 point wheel develops a growing appreciation that the language of emotion is indeed present to steer the ship of the soul's path, that it has a vital function and indeed plays a critical role in how we navigate life and bring the dream to the world. In this way, we are empowered to reform our relationship with probably the most powerful, everyday internal force in our lives.
*Note for Actors: This stanza of work is rich with regard to the work of the actor and provides invaluable tools.
THE WE: DANCING THE SHARED DREAM BETWEEN BODY & EARTH
Spiderflower's Dance, Progressed Earthwork and Learning to Read the River
A further dimension opens out the intelligent language resting within the natural world. Spiderflower's dance couples with progressed earth work.
The We. The realm of realtionship. Our external landscape.
We do not end where our skin stops.
Nor does the tree cease at the edge of its branch.
Everything is interwinted.
Everything is in dialouge.
The earth is a living library.
We have come here.
To be here.
Spiderflower's dance combines sessions of specific, progressed earthwork designed to teach ways of listening to and merging with the vocabulary of the natural world through the body. Simple excercises work through direct contact with the land, to pay close attention to the rhythms, the tempo, the textures, the pulses, the sounds and the stories that make up the eternal, utterly relevant and deeply intelligent language of earth.
So to, we come to understand in the most intimate way the ancient earth does feel and dream.
But she does not dream alone. We are of her. We are her dream walking.
In the place where the two rivers meet
is a shared language
of a shared intelligence
of a shared dance.
It is a co-creative dream.
Together, we enter that relationship. Allowing the body to open and give itself to the earth on the out breath, on the inbreath, we remain receptive – allowing the earth to deliver herself unto us. From that well spring, and a new river flows.
So what happens when we go with this? What happens when we follow that river?
What then happens when the river finds us?
We down the tools of separation.
We step into the river.
And we go.
How difficult this can be after battling so hard to forge the path.
In the high pressured world of no time, no connection, no space.
How many slam doors shut to the feeling, breathing worlds within and without?
How many hold too tight in the rush to get there and get it done?
Mustn't. Shouldn't. Ought. And Not.
No. Here is the dance and here is the river.
There is a lot about trust here, release and letting go. The work asks the dancer to find courage to surrender, for, it is on this river things happen – we end up in places, people turn up, events unfold – the earths noble and magnificent consciousness unfolds her dreaming for us through life. As dancers, we become translators and visionaries at once, embodying a deep and beautiful shared vision as we consider the perspective and the wonderment of the wider whole.
THE HOLY: RIDING THE RIVER & BRIDGING BETWEEN WORLDS
Art, Tools & Making Manifest
When internal and external landscapes marry, yet another dimension graces us.
Here we look to the expressive arts, tools and practical skill to weave between worlds.
The Holy. The realm of the unseen. Life force itself.
In the river, we must swim with the current - and learn to move in unison with a liquid that is supporting our entire body weight, and will carry us along. Here we become incredibly light, weightless even. It has its own life, there are other forces at play, so there is an element of surrender, of trusting instinct and body mind - yet we can still steer the ship.
Beneath us, ahead of us, behind us - is unknown. There are always elements of risk, and we never quite know where the river will take us. It can change tempo or direction in a moment, and it is up to us to listen and respond.
But. Here we are in conversation.
There is dialogue in this place.
A marriage, if you like.
Spiderflower understands this as a 2-way flowering, where internal energy engages and plays with an external flow - they interchange - each informing the other. The river flows on, and flower we do.
BEING HUMAN (Spiderflower's 6 Day Foundation Course) teaches us that, as human beings, we have many incredible attributes that are essential in helping us through the world. But, there is not a moment in our life that goes by when we do not act, somewhere, from an emotional impulse.
The river is always there.
What is important, is to keep the conversation going.
To stay in the river long enough to see where it wants to take us,
or indeed what it may bring to us.
This section looks carefully to the art of conversation with the holy, how that is made. How we listen, understand and respond. How our vocabulary might become stronger. It is a practical road about making manifest bridges of tangible connection between worlds - through art, expression and skill.
There are many ways to do this, each of us will bring our own talent. You may be a painter, a writer, a dancer, a singer, an actor, a poet. There are tools such as the drum, the rattle, stones and feather. What is essential is that we make the unseen, seen. The transparent, apparent. That we learn to bring reality out of the dream and give it form. Become midwives, if you like.
This stanza within The River That Finds Us is probably the most growthful to work with. Here we meet our greatest challenges. Everything that is in the way, will need to shift. It is a place of birth, as it will insist on the necessity of not only allowing the deep creativity that sits at soul level to rise and flower outward through the physical and beyond so that we are each in service to the greater whole -
but to also allow the beauty of the holy - in.
Avebury - UK
Zennor - Cornwall - UK
Snowdonia - Wales - UK
Much of Spiderflower's work is site specific - so the location for each stanza of THE RIVER THAT FINDS US has been chosen specifically and with the utmost care.
Spiderflower has longstanding relationship with each place where work has taken place and developed over a number of years - in some cases up to 20 years.
What is most important is that each place opens out a unique geographical terrain and landscape - the kind of land we work with matters greatly, as the energy and story of the land will speak with us in different ways.
THE RIVER THAT FINDS US takes dancers into ancient, wild and beautiful landscape, with added purpose of opening out a participants direct experience of the language of the land as widely as possible. . . . This is about adventure, wide circles and stepping out of the comfort zone.
PRACTICS, PRICES & BOOKING
DATES & LOCATION
Thur 18th - Sun 21st FEBRUARY 2021
SNOWDONIA - WALES - UK
Snowdonia lies within the mountains of Wales.
We work and stay at the beautiful eco-village of Cae Mabon, complete with access to woodland, river, lake - studio, roundhouses and hot tub.
15th - 18th APRIL 2021
LAMORNA - CORNWALL - UK
24th - 27th JUNE 2021
ZENNOR - CORNWALL - UK
Zennor is a place of breathtaking beauty, raw and wild landscape, ancient and soaring cliffs sit right on the west coast of Cornwall.
Here we move into landscape that can be bleak at times, an epic wilderness and full of lore and legend.
12th - 15th AUGUST 2021
AVEBURY - WILTSHIRE - UK
Home to a unique cycle of ancient monuments, megaliths and stone circles, set amid a complex of springs and streams, Avebury's soft rolling hills rest upon a bed of chalk, so has ancient memory of the sea.
This place is seed, root and home to Spiderflower's work - and has inspired most of Spiderflower's choreography.
21st - 24th OCTOBER 2021
SNOWDONIA - WALES - UK
We come full circle to close.
All prices are inclusive of food + accommodation
Dancers must have an absolute minimum of 8 full days dance experience with Spiderflower: Contemporary Earth Dance to be considered for entry.
First places are offered to dancers who have completed the 7 day foundation course (Part 1) - BEING HUMAN (Or the Vulnerable Magician).
As there is a pre-requisite in place for this foundation year, all dancers will have previously registered with Spiderflower: Contemporary Earth Dance.
There is an application process for entry onto THE RIVER THAT FINDS US. Dancers must apply in writing to attend, where an interview and simple assessment will follow. Allow 4 weeks for the application process to go through.
Simply EMAIL Spiderflower in the first instance to request a form and your task sheet.
LAST APPLICATIONS 7th NOVEMBER 2020
Dancers will need to prepare well, a 6 month time span ahead of the dance is advised. Final applications close on 7th Nov 2020 - 3 months ahead of the start date in order to ensure everyone on board has time to ground into the work.
BOOKING & PAYMENT
Once your application has been accepted, your place will be agreed and firmed. Payment may be made at this point.
To make your payment please visit the
PAYMENT page on this website.
Go to BOOKING for all practical info.
Foundation courses are different to experiential work (like The Flower Drum), as they are instructive, giving dancers solid tools and technique in dance and Spiderflower's holding structures. They always have the same content, once you complete them, you have them. If you are interested in Teacher Training, foundation courses are pre-requisite, yet alone they make good foundation for any future work.
WHO IS THE RIVER THAT FINDS US FOR?
The River That Finds Us is for those who are looking to commit to a years rite of passage and enter into a deep journey. It is for those who know Spiderflower's work well enough to be sure they want to take this journey and study the work.
Most of our time is spent in movement dialogue. Following the group energy, the dance and land in conjunction. As we are travelling on a much deeper level, our time out on the land is longer and more intensive than in Being Human (Part 1).
THE RIVER THAT FINDS US (formerly known as Oceans of Emotion) has previously run in the UK and has developed over the course of many years. It has proved to be one of the most important courses to complete as a foundation.
Dance Photography: Gemma Burleigh 2012 - All Rights Reserved
Life Drawing: © David Hewitt -
Background Photo: Kyrre Gjerstad © 2012. Splash.