1999 - 2019
1999 - Early Days
The structures belonging to Spiderflower were written between the Autumn Equinox of 1998 and New Year of 1999.
The books take poetic form, and began after a series of dances to essentially tell of a love story. There are 5 stanzas, or cycles in all to Spiderflower. Upon the completion of each book, I assumed I was done. After and pause and a beat, the next picked up very naturally.
As an actor who moves, choreography, shapes and patterns - in practically anything - are very clear to the eye. A succinct choreography formed through each book as it completed to end with 5 interlocking templates in all.
That choreography now serves as the template for all of Spiderflower's work today, be it classes, courses, writing or performance.
AVEBURY + WOMAN
There are certain places special to Spiderflower; Avebury has to be the most of these and in a way is its home and heartbeat.
Development tends to work in slow time, and Spiderflower will stay in certain places for a long time, many years in fact, to listen carefully to the rhythms, story and memory in that place. Repetition becomes a great friend, as we work to translate a story through dance - in time we end up with a building picture that becomes more and more whole. Tracking choreography in the land gives way to a process that directly translates into and imbues Spiderflower's overall holding structures, content and technique within the dance.
My personal relationship with Avebury goes way back before any work started here, so a large proportion of Spiderflower's make up has been inspired by the land and ancient architecture here from both a personal perspective and through ongoing work on site.
THE DANCE CYCLE
The Avebury Cycle was held close to and within the ancient sites of Avebury in Wiltshire - offering dance space for women only, once a year, year on year. Designed for women who walk a creative path, it offered an open, breathable structure to work on an ongoing basis.
Intricately layered, in time and in tune The Avebury Cycle worked as an ongoing spiral of events over an indefinite, extended period of time - which means - there was no end in sight. Rooted in the earth year, the dance cycle turned on the wheel, changing theme and focus each time a group met - those dynamics worked to echo the choreography of this extra-ordinary place, in time with the rhythms of the season, a woman's life cycle and that of a dancer's own creative /personal story.
Dancers could join The Avebury Cycle at any point in time, continued for as long as they wished - and went on to repeat if they were moved to.
Photography © Lynette Thomas 2013
All rights reserved
CAE MABON + SNOWDONIA
Cae Mabon in Wales was also an important place for Spiderflower and became home to year courses for women for a number of years.
Content developed immensely while we were here, and saw an intensification. When working at Avebury, we have to deal with fragmentation of sites caused by the roads that carve through it, so movement when at work involves wide circles and a fair amount of effort in travelling around. Cae Mabon allowed the work to settle and really melt into the land as the residential setting is held and in direct proximity to nature that is pristine.
Where and how Spiderflower works does have a great impact on the quality of work - in this scenario, due to being settled and the focus this afforded, movement dialogue between body and earth had more time and space to breathe and find itself.
The place holds an incredible magic in its wildness. Cae Mabon offered a base and a bridge into deeper development and WILDERNESS work in and around Snowdonia later on.
With special thanks to one of the greatest dreamers and creators I know - Eric Maddern.