T h e F l o w e r D r u m
Discovering the Deliciousness of the Ancient Dancing Soul
A 4 Day Intensive into the Ancient Relationship between
our Earth, the Dancer & Rhythm
Coming to the UK
Accompanied by exquisite percussion throughout,
The Flower Drum is a dance to water the soul and honey the heart.
It is a dance of giving thanks, and of 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.
It is for those who seek a strong level of immersion into movement, without interruption.
Interested in the intimate relationship between the rhythm and body, our time is spent mostly in the dance. Moving through practice and technique ready to drop into extended session, elements of earthwork, that is working hands on / feet on with the land, are wove into the work to take us deeper still into connection between the drum that beats in the chest (the heart) and earth.
Rhythm. Connects. All things.
Its ancient language speaks in a tongue that is universal,
not only for the human race - but echoes the rhythms of creation.
Getting into the beat. Opening to the rhythm.
Seeds the creative soul.
As dancers are showered with a delicious melt of melody and bass 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 -
as feet tumble forth a language of prayer - we dance in step and in time.
Letting go into the honest and visceral layers of all that it is to be human, for all the very many colours of which we are made - we honour ourselves as creators in relationship with the wider whole.
KIRBY & AFRA BELL
As 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 the beginning of Spiderflower, between us we have a working relationship that runs from 1999.
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 physical 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.
It weaves the very fabric of life through its ancient heart.
Rhythm. Connects. All things.
THE FLOWER DRUM 2017
"We find percussion everywhere on the planet,
yet nowhere is it exactly the same.
Each culture has brought its own genius,
its own materials to the task of rhythm making."
Sam Hodgen. Musician & Percussionist
The drum is one of the most ancient instruments known to humankind. Behind every drum there is a culture, behind every culture there is a story. The world over, the drum can be found amongst every peoples. At once it has the ability to uphold our diversity as a human race, and at the same time unite us.
Simple, yet eternally complex. Unique to each tribe, the drum is often imbued with thousands of years of tradition, its own cosmology and specific rhythms of play. Yet, rhythm is a language that is universal - it speaks in the common tongue of human kind. For millennia, the drum has gathered community, and upheld a bridge to the holy. In so many ways, the gift we find in this unassuming instrument offers us still an incredible way to connect to the deeper roots we each have with our ancestors, this earth and its peoples.
The Flower drum is dedicated to keeping that understanding, the diversity, obscurity and wonderment of the drum alive. Our work also offers Spiderflower's community an opportunity to step into a journey of discovery and adventure.
This takes the form of a QUEST, where dancers can undertake optional pathwork ahead of the dance. Each time we meet, dancers are invited to step inside the skin of the drum in personal and meaningful way by seeking out the very drum that sits within the roots of their ancestral tree as an additional element to the course.
The quest asks a dancer to track back through their ancestral line, then opens out into the traditions, music and of course, the drum(s) belonging to a dancers people. Spiderflower's circle sees participants coming together from many different countries. As dancers arrive with their discoveries, the personal stories that have arisen out of the journey made have been moving and educational.
For dancers choosing to undertake this quest, your journey into The Flower Drum begins as soon as you register and receive your pathwork. Please ensure you leave enough time to undertake your pathwork - it's advised you allow a good 6 months ahead of the dance. For the fruits that are found, dancers may wish to create their own drum, or may prefer a drum maker to craft one - and bring it along.
If you just wish to come along to dance, dance, dance, it is completely fine to come without a drum. There is an awful lot to learn through witnessing others.
TONGUES IN THE FLOWERING TREE
Now in it's 5th year, The Flower Drum is a growing body of new work, and has evolved into an ongoing arts project.
Kirby, Rico Persson & Jonas Larsson
Rico Persson, Bouba Souma & Johan Svanborg
Kirby & Afra Bell
BORNTORPET SHAMBALA GATHERINGS
Skinnskatteberg - Sweden
Borntorpet Shambala Gatherings sits right beside lake Gattjärn in the deep earth of Bergslagenby forest - we have all we need to perfection. The team at Shambala are so supportive of Spiderflower's work, with tremendous food, comfortable bedrooms and sauna, we have ample dance space in a light, clean, warm and beautiful studio.
PRACTICS, BOOKING & PRICES
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 own unique choreography. All dancers are given pathwork and are required to prepare.
Who is The Flower Drum for? For actors, lovers of dance, the drum and of nature. For creatives, therapists, and professionals. For changemakers, visionary's and innovators. The Flower Drum is mainly 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 - before getting back to it in the world once more.
What experience do I need? Spiderflower is a powerful form of dance practice, 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 needs to be 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 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 through that attention and care into your dance. With the disciplines involved, dancers will find these give both more freedom and depth to their dance.
Schedule: Most of our time is spent in Spiderflower's dance. Following the group energy, the dance and land in conjunction we start 9am to dance into the night. The day is divided into 2 main sessions, with good breaks in-between.
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 beautiful land around Borntorpet Shambala Gatherings.
Community & Ethos: Spiderflower has been dancing in Sweden over the past 5 years. Here grows a small tribe of courageous, dynamic and dedicated dancers. We balance fun with seriousness, adventure with safety, hard work with soft play. Deep hearted and life loving, we are dedicated to the flowering soul.
4400 sek // £420
2300 sek // £220 - Please pay directly to Spiderflower
ACCOMMODATION & FOOD:
2,100 sek // £200 - Please pay directly to Shambala Gatherings.
(Bank details given on registration)
Dancers entering The Flower Drum are invited to fill out a registration from in their most beautiful handwriting as a way of deepening into the work and crossing the threshold. See the video below for insights into that process.
All dancers please REGISTER first with Spiderflower: Contemporary Earth Dance before making payment.
To download a registration form please
follow the appropriate links below.
REGISTRATION CLOSES MIDNIGHT 14th SEPTEMBER 2017
To make your payment please visit the
PAYMENT page on this website.
QUESTIONS & ENQUIRIES
+44 (0) 7967 430303
Or drop Spiderflower an EMAIL
Photography: Rowan + Drum - Gemma Burleigh Photography 2012 -
Artwork: Tongues in the Flowering Tree - Rowan Jacqueline 2016