GUIDANCE FOR DANCERS

 

 

Spiderflower: Contemporary Earth Dance is a unique and powerful practice.  It is also new work.  Bringing new work into the world does have its challenges.  This guidance is written to provide some clarity for dancers on Spiderflower's approach and the expectations held so all dancers can get the very best from each session - and decide if Spiderflower is for you!

 

  • Theatre:  First and foremost, Spiderflower's roots and my own training sit within professional theatre.  The work then follows the techniques, ettiquettes and approach that you would normally find within a professional theatrical environment.  Actors work hard, there is a great dedication toward and love of the work - and disicipline is key.  It is important dancers respect these roots and refrain from projecting any other approach onto the work.

 

  • Focus & 'Letting Go' of Previous Practice:  Although there may be similarities with other dance or theatre forms through improvised approach or earth based interest - Spiderflower is unlike any other modality of dance movement theatre. The space is held with openness, generosity of spirit and it is my intention is to facilitate immense freedom where dancers can explore deeply and take risks, however, that freedom is actually found through the structures, disciplines and techniques Spiderflower works through.  Freedom and form are equal to each other.  Dancers are requested to 'let go' of specific movement forms already practiced, to 'empty out' so they can hear and be open to focus on the work at hand.  This is not to lessen any form you are practiced within, or that you love. Spiderflower's work is about striping back to a certain level of transparency, deepening the root and organicity within movement - techniques are there to help you with this.

 

  • Strengthening Your Own Practice:  It is my joy to work with many different practitioners from all walks of life who are strong in their own field.  This includes practitioners from the movement or acting world along with many other professions that are completely unrelated such as doctors, therapists, farmers, visual artists, directors, filmakers, writers, lawyers and so on. Most often practitioners will find Spiderflower will compliment their own core practice - no matter what it is, even if it is not attributed to dance.  This is what Spiderflower is designed to do and is the beauty of the gift she offers.

 

  • Theatrical Approach & Ettiquette:  Spiderflower works to high artistic standards and heads toward performance for those dancers who want to practice thus far.  We approach Spiderflower as a fine art, working with the etiquette that we are in service to an audience, regardless of whether there is one present or not.  The work is performance led, our focus working on 3 levels at once, (The I, The We & The Holy) where we consider we are in service to all 3 circles at any one time as we are in motion.  There is a strong element within the work about quality, precision and the artistry a dancer delivers so our level of attention is high.  Although hugely beneficial as a form of self develoment, Spiderflower does not favour an approach where focus is soley on the 'I' or the 'self'.  It is expected of dancers to approach the work with a willingness to expand on their own skill base and to treat both the work and each other with respect.  Within a theatrical setting it is normal for the tutor to intervene in order to deepen the skill of the dancer.  This works in a dualistic way, as a dancers skill develops so it will take them through an internal process of growth.  Dancers then need to expect and be comfortable with this.

 

  • Pathwork, Research & Preparation:  This is a very important element within Spiderflower, and belongs to a theatrical approach.  One of an actors gifts is the quality of curiosity and it is normal for an actor to research, often extensively, any specific arena of work is context.  It is also normal to prepare ahead for any section of work, so when we do enter the space we are ready to engage with it on a more precise level.  Research can truly empower the dance and the dancer, it can also lead to some beautiful finds or progressions for either dancers on a personal basis or the work as a whole.  It is important we learn and look to how we may apply our work in the wider whole in practial ways. Dancers who choose to undergo long term training with Spiderflower will be expected to undertake extensive research.

 

  • Registration & Entry:  For classes, dancers may drop in, but all dancers must register for classes previously with Spiderflower on health and safety grounds.  For dances of any longer duration running from 1 day and more, participants must pre-book and there is no admittance on the day without booking or registration.

 

  • Copyright:  Practitioners of other movement forms are requested to remain mindful around copyright.  If you wish to use Spiderflower's structures or techniques to teach by, you seek permissions in writing, credit the work appropriately and must complete teacher training.

 

  • Conflict:  There is very clear policy within Spiderflower around conflict.  Happily it is rare, but can come up from time to time - as being human will take us there.  Again, following etiquette we find in a theatrical environment, we do not enter into politics, conflict or discussion about these issues in the work space.  Our focus is on the work at hand.  We work from a place of trust, support and friendship.  If you have issue either in past or present time, you are asked to clear this with the person concerned prior to a session, or afterward.  My intention is to hold a safe energetic space for every dancer, and dancers present have the right to dance in freedom without interference.  It is also my right as a facilitator to work within a clear space.  I am under no obligation whatsoever to hold space for dancers who carry personal vendeta, bring conflict into the work or are distruptive.  Dancers who are unable work with Spiderflower's approach in a respectful way or are unable to resolve issues will be asked to step out.

 

  • Shamanism:  Spiderflower is not Shamanism.  Very often it will get put into this genre, or can find itself termed as 'shamanic dance'.  It is important to understand that although Spiderflower is complimentary to neo-shamanic practices, and does work through elements often associated with this, Spiderflower is progressed as a dance form and stands in its own right.  When dancers attribute Spiderflower as 'shamanism', this does interfere with the clarity of the work as each dancer has a different understanding of what Shamanism is, how it 'should' work, which in turn leads to expectations and/or judgements. Spiderflower is clear and simple in its intent. The dance is about the connectivity, relationship and expression of the body's relationship with the natural world.  It begins and ends here.

 

  • Drugs & Alcohol:  Absolutley no drugs or alcohol in or around the work.  If dancers are suspected of being under the influence then they will be asked to leave session or the work entirely.  Dancers who are in long term training will need to abstain permently from any drug usage and keep alcohol intake to a minumum.

 

  • Pets:  No pets in the workspace.  

 

  • Children:  Adult sessions run from a minimum age of 21+.  Children are allowed to be on site at some events, but not all.  Please do not bring children in unless this is clearly stated as acceptable on the specific course you wish to attend.  If in doubt, please check.

 

Weaving the Ancient, the Wild & the Beautiful

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Spiderflower: Contemporary Earth Dance, The Flat, 15 Meneage Street, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 8AA. UK.                                                                    E:  contact@spiderflower.org    |   T: +44 (0) 7967 430303
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