T h e   F l o w e r   D r u m

Discovering the Deliciousness of the Ancient Dancing Soul

A unique body of work, exploring the ancient relationship

between earth, the dancer and rhythm.





Now in its 6th Year of development, 2018 sees The Flower Drum 

come full cycle and return to its place of conception. 


2 DANCES offer space for new dancers and those in the early stages of the work,

then for dancers at intermediate level and /or those contributing to the theatre arts project springing from The Flower Drum - 'Tongues in the Flowering Tree'.



2 Day Dance Intensive

Drums & Percussion

Kirby + Afra Bell


New Dancers


Early Stages

Fri 13th + Sat 14th







4 Day Dance Intensive

Drums & Percussion

Rowan Jacqueline

Tongues in the Flowering Tree Contributors, Intermediate Dancers

Thu 23rd - Sun 26th August  




The Flower Drum As An Ongoing Body Of Work

The Flower Drum seeded a long time ago.

Its strong and distinct vision landed with clear instruction and a knowing

this would be an important body of work to fulfil.

This was back in 2006.  Sometimes seeds rest underground for a while, many years in fact,

to sleep, dream and gather themselves until they have germinated to exactly the right degree.

I was pregnant at the time, and back then, with motherhood being the most important thing - ever,

The Flower Drum was something I put on hold.

It held a quiet insistence, kept on coming back - wanting to know when.  

The first dance opened in Sweden 2013, with a simple intent to explore

the relationship between the earth, the dancer and rhythm.

The drum is central to The Flower Drum. 

Its ancient language speaks in a tongue that is universal.

Very quickly, the ancient connection between drum and human became apparent.

Which in turn, opened a natural path to connect with ancestry.  

Spiderflower is all about rooting.  

Rooting into the body.  Rooting into the land.

That is, the land that is indigenous to the self. 

My initial intent was to get away from a what I could see was becoming a vastly homogenised landscape concerning percussion.  I wanted to encourage dancers to track back into their roots and be very specific about what they were looking to connect with.

A Quest was set: To find the drum that sits at the root of a dancers ancestral tree.

As an option for those who want to take it up.

Stories arriving back in the space the following year were breathtaking.

Delicious, obscure, nearly forgotten drums that - upon being unearthed - brought with them rich remembrances of a cacophony of peoples, old ways, deeper stories and traditions.  

In time, a picture began to build, and we reached a place where it was clear our collective findings wove a story that must be shared with the wider whole.

The Flower Drum is ultimately a celebration of rhythmic diversity.

It is, at the same time, a celebration of the diversity of the human race.

Today, it has developed into a progressive body of work 

where dancers are welcomed to participate at varying levels. 

Below is The Flower Drum's structure broken down for you at a glance.

Please follow the anchors to the right for information on relevant dances.

Enjoy!  We so hope to see you there.

Rowan, Kirby & Afra.


THE DANCES:  Are an entry point, but become a practice ground for dancers on repetition. The beauty of the structure allows dancers to work how they want to with The Flower Drum.  It is perfectly fine to come along to simply dance one time alone - and nothing more.  Other dancers return to dance year on year, others choose to take up the quest.

The dances become a meeting point for the percussive creatures that have unearthed themselves along the way, together with their story and all that they bring with them.


THE QUEST:  This is about research, digging and excavation.  About discovering who you are, and developing a deeper understanding of the peoples you come from.  The quest is carefully structured, so there is a specific way to go about what is a sacred and meaningful journey.  One that is undertaken not only for the self, but for ancestors and future children to come.  In its heart, it holds the deepest love for the earth and its peoples.

Some dancers find their drum, others don't.  

What is important to remember is that - the power is in the story.

Taking place outside of course hours, ideally as preparation for a dance - the quest can take dancers on a journey; that becomes an adventure; that can span several years.  Spiderflower holds that space. Out of this, should dancers return, their dance will deepen and continually want to break new ground.  


THEATRE ARTS & TONGUES IN THE FLOWERING TREE:  For dancers who have a passion and can't put it down. There is opportunity to step into a much more intensive level of research and work as a team to take the quest into the arts within the theatre project springing from The Flower Drum - 'Tongues in the Flowering Tree'.  The project works through real life / real time, weaving a questers story; with their drum; with the whole to move into dance movement /perrcussive theatre.  Not for the faint hearted; this is hard work - but takes us on a collective voyage that, so far, has been incredible.

Everything within our universe is in motion and has rhythm.


Rhythm is something that repeats itself in time.

As the Moon circles the earth,

as the tides ebb

and flow,

as day falls

into night,

as the breath flows,

there is a heartbeat central to all things.

In our lives,

there is also a multidimensional

flow of rhythm.

The personal rhythm of the body.

The wider rhythm of relationship in family, tribe and culture.

The intertwined rhythms of the natural and elemental worlds.

The cosmic rhythms of the planets, stars and wider universe.

The drum is a place where these things rest together.


Through its ancient heart weaves the fabric of life.



All things.


Drums & Percussion - Kirby & Afra Bell

2 Day Dance Intensive

New Dancers & Early Stages

Fri 13th (10.00) + Sat 14th (22.00) July, 2018

Accompanied by exquisite percussion throughout.

This is a dance of giving thanks and living well.

It is for those who want (and need) to dance long and dance hard.

For those wanting to work deeply with live percussion in a dedicated space.

For those who seek a strong level of immersion into movement, without interruption.

Rhythm. Connects. All things.

Interested in the intimate relationship between rhythm and body, our time is spent mostly in the dance.  A delicious melt of melody and bass shower dancers for extended periods of time. The drum creates a rare level of holding, allowing a dancer to completely immerse into the journey of their dance. 

As the drum carries the dancer - we embrace the fact we are made of the substance of earth, and so are connected to an old, old story.  

On the breath of exchange - upon the connective rhythms that bind all things - 

feet tumble forth a language of prayer - we dance in step and in time.


QUEST & PREPARATION: All dancers are given pathwork and are required to prepare for the dance.  There is an option to undertake the quest for your drum. 


EARTHWORK & EXTRAS:  Whilst we dance in a dedicated indoor space, we are in one of the most extra-ordinary places on earth. Avebury holds the magic of ages in its stones, forests, tombs and waters. Rowan will offer space on Thursday and Sunday to work with the land in preparation for the dance and as integration. This element is optional (but recommended). Dancers are asked to bring their own food and refreshments.



NEW DANCERS & EARLY STAGES:  The Flower Drum 1 welcomes new dancers, creating a platform for participants who are either in the early stages of their quest or are relatively new to Spiderflower to develop their movement skills, gain more practice and deepen their understanding of the work. 



Our Percussionists


Prayerful, powerful drummers with years of experience in African Traditions, Kirby and Afra stand among the most talented and proficient percussionists in the UK.


Playing Djembe, Kpanlogo, Bourgarabou, Congas and Bata, as a duo they are Spiderflower's original percussionists and possess a deep working knowledge of the dance.  


With an ability to intuit a dancers energy and roll with the stanza's of a dance, Kirby and Afra weave an unspeakable magic as musicians.  

Working alongside Rowan from Spiderflower's beginning in 1999, between us we have a working relationship that spans 19 years.


Please follow




Drums & Percussion - Rowan Jacqueline

4 Day Dance Intensive

Contributors to Tongues in the Flowering Tree

& Intermediate Dancers

Thu 23rd (10.00) - Sun 26th (16.00) August, 2018

As we reach our 6th cycle is has become necessary to create a space where those contributing to TONGUES IN THE FLOWERING TREE, or dancers who have previously danced with The Flower Drum and are well into their quest

can continue and deepen their journey.


Dancers at intermediate level within Spiderflower may also join this intensive.

 All dancers for Flower Drum 2 are welcome to dance both stanzas (1 & 2) in a year.


Here we open out the conversation in terms of the dance and its relationship to rhythm.  

A dancer may, or may not have discovered their drum as yet, (some dancers carry a complicated ancestry and patience is needed), others may have unearthed some kind of waking treasure. . .  what is important is the fact those rhythmic storylines can meet and begin to weave together from different corners of the world.

We work a balance between Spiderflower's dance, where we are able to become very specific in terms of working with a dancers ancestry; dialogue with the landscape; and circle.  Circle because sharing becomes important.

There is much learning to be had in listening to others.

Everything though, rests on the drum.

Once a dancer finds their drum, the dance begins again.

We open the way for these delicious and magnificent percussive creatures

to sing and the distant voices of the peoples

they carry with them to be heard.

Ultimately, our intent is to flower the story of a dancers drum.

Now.  We may understand the title of this dance.

It is a powerful journey.  

The dance continually roots us into the substance of our own being.

Into all we come from.  Into all we are.



Dedicate to the diverse and beautiful story of the drum and the earth's people TONGUES IN THE FLOWERING TREE is an ongoing arts project, springing directly from The Flower Drum.

Thanking Therese Lindqvist Persson, Sandra Falkeborn, Ketama Lane, Maria Lé Mon, Margus Mägi, Karolina Malm, Hannah Austin, Rob Purday and Bernadette Kearns for all their fine work to date.



Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill

Photography © Lynette Thomas 2013. All rights reserved

The Cove - Avebury Henge

The Cove - Avebury Henge

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2012

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2011

Swallowhead Spring

Swallowhead Spring

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2011

Swallowhead Spring

Swallowhead Spring

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2011

The Bridestones

The Bridestones

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2012

The Bridestones

The Bridestones

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2011

The Bridestones

The Bridestones

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2011

Beltane Flowers

Beltane Flowers

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2012

Red Moon / Sweet Earth

Red Moon / Sweet Earth

Egg & Earth on Canvas. Rowan Jacqueline © 2006. All rights reserved.

Wiltshire Downs

Wiltshire Downs

Photography © Lynette Thomas 2013. All rights reserved

Swallowhead Spring

Swallowhead Spring

Photography © Rowan Jacqueline 2011. All rights reserved

Spiders Web

Spiders Web

Photography © Lynette Thomas 2013. All rights reserved

The Old Trees - Avebury Henge

The Old Trees - Avebury Henge

Photography © Lynette Thomas 2013. All rights reserved



Photography © Lynette Thomas 2013. All rights reserved


Wiltshire - UK


This extraordinary land is home to an ancient cycle of stone circles, tombs, walkways, mounds, springs and waterways that date back 5,000 years.

Spiderflower has worked at Avebury since it began in 1999, in a way it is home and heartbeat to the work.  


A large proportion of Spiderflower's make up has been inspired by the land and the intelligence of the ancient architecture here.  We've had a special journey over many years.



Looking out over the rolling landscape, we work in a large, bright, warm and well equipped dance space. Details are released upon registration.



Spiderflower’s Dance: Powerfully grounded in earth and in body, Spiderflower’s Dance is impro-based, prayerful, focused and committed. It carries helpful technique and discipline within a clear, strong structure, yet, is free-form, allowing the dancer to drop into their unique choreography. All dancers are given pathwork and are required to prepare.



Who is The Flower Drum 1 for? For actors, lovers of dance, the drum and of nature. For creatives and professionals. For change-makers, visionary's and innovators. The Flower Drum is designed for those who want to effect positive change in the world and are active in doing so.  If you walk a creative path - The Flower Drum can act as a watering hole to recharge, find inspiration and support.


What experience do I need? Spiderflower is a powerful form of dance, and is rooted in professional theatre practice. Although it is impro based, we work with discipline, precision and focus.  It is also a form where we are interested in and head towards performance, so the quality of our work is high. Dancers need to be aware of this; Spiderflower's workspace is NOT a space where dancers can come and 'do as they please'. 

The Flower Drum 1 is ideally for dancers who have previous experience of Spiderflower, or have good experience in their chosen dance practice - newcomers are welcome, but need to be aware that we work to professional standards, which means listening, being able to take direction, and following that through with attention and care.

Schedule: Most of our time is spent in dance. Following the group energy, we start 9am to dance into the night.

Drums & Percussion: Kirby & Afra are the original percussionists for Spiderflower, and have been working with Rowan since the very beginning, way back in 1999.  Together they possess a deep working knowledge of Spiderflower's dance form.  Working to exceptionally high standards - as a musical duo weave an inuitive magic through the work.

Earthwork: This means hands on / feet on exercise and meditation with the land.



Who is The Flower Drum 2 for? For dancers who are currently contributing to TONGUES IN THE FLOWERING TREE; for dancers who have completed at least 2 years of THE FLOWER DRUM and are well into their quest; or have good foundation with Spiderflower through other trainings.  Dancers for FLOWER DRUM 2 need to have a solid understanding of Spiderflower's dance technique and practice. The conversation at this stage is very different to FLOWER DRUM 1.  Dancers are welcome to attend FLOWER DRUM 1.

Schedule:  Time is spent between the dance, the drum, the land and in circle. The conversation opens out and we follow the emergent story. Expect to start early and work through til late.

Drums & Percussion: While Rowan Jacqueline anchors percussion through the frame drum, other drums will be arriving into the space as a result of dancers quests. Depending on numbers, Rowan may bring in musicians - however it is most important drums arriving from different parts of the world with stories to tell are heard.


Community & Ethos:

All dancers please read TERMS & CONDITIONS and GUIDANCE prior to signing up.



£275 - Inclusive of Lunch + Evening Meals

£225 - Self Catering

Deposit £100 (Non-returnable)

Drums & Percussion - Kirby & Afra Bell


FLOWER DRUM 2 - £390

Deposit £100 (Non-returnable)

Drums & Percussion - Rowan Jacqueline


Lunch & evening meals additional



13th (10.00) - 14th (22.00) July



23rd (10.00) - 26th (16.00) August




We dance in a beautiful, light and large dance space close to Avebury.  Location supplied upon booking.

This is a NON-RESIDENTIAL EVENT.  Dancers must find their own accommodation.  Avebury gets busy over the summer so booking up in ample time is advised.  Spiderflower is happy to help with suggestiontions for camping, B&B's or cottages close by.


Dancers are invited to complete their registration forms in their most beautiful hand writing and send in by snail mail.  This applies to dancers in the UK and overseas.

Alternatively, find links for ONLINE REGISTRATION FORMS below.

If you choose to register by hand, EMAIL SPIDERFLOWER in the first instance to request a registration form (PDF), stating which level (Flower Drum 1 or 2) you want to attend.

Please give ample time to register and prepare for the dance.

Watch the video below to understand the registration process.

Last handwritten applications must be in by 1st JUNE.  

After this dancers please complete Online Registration.





Please do not make payment as yet.

Once your registration is received, Spiderflower will contact you to discuss your application in every instance.

After that conversation is held, dancers may make PAYMENT.

Upon receipt, Spiderflower will confirm your place

and forward all pathwork, preparation and details.



+44 (0) 7967 430303 

or drop Spiderflower an EMAIL

Please make sure you are on the MAIL LIST

to remain informed.


Photography: Rowan + Drum © Gemma Burleigh Photography 2012 -

Artwork:  Tongues in the Flowering Tree © Rowan Jacqueline 2016



(Or The Vulnerable Magician) 



Cornwall - UK

9th - 16th November 2018 


Contemporary Earth Dance Theatre 

Weaving the Ancient, the Wild & the Beautiful

Phone: +44 (0) 7967 430303        Email: contact@spiderflower.org 

Website + Content © 1999 - 2020 Rowan Jacqueline Beckett / Spiderflower.  All rights reserved.

Spiderflower - Registered Trademark:  UK00003466287

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