21st – 23rd October
Bloomsbury Festival 2016
St George’s Gardens, Bloomsbury. London WC1
Rosemary Lee and Simon Whitehead will present CALLING TREE over three days this autumn during the Bloomsbury Festival 2016. Making connections with the festival’s overall theme of language CALLING TREE is an ode to the lost language of nature within urban populations. A small cast of aerialists, singers and performers and a host of guests will animate the gardens in this hidden haven in Bloomsbury – St George’s Gardens. Audiences can expect to see – and hear – the gardens in a completely new way. In a 2-3 hour cycle presented each day the performers will hover and move through the trees’ autumnal canopy, filling it with movement, song, messages and bird sound. At other times, poets, singers, musicians and dancers will wander and gather beneath the magnificent boughs to celebrate the special place the garden holds within the community. Drawn together by their shared desire to highlight the significance of nature within an urban context, choreographer-directors Rosie and Simon have worked with a team of collaborators since August. Contributions and participation from individuals and groups – ranging from school children, singers and wildlife experts – will be woven through the series of events and performances over three days. Visitors and passers-by will be invited to stop, listen and look up and in a way reclaim a lost way of life.
Rosemary Lee, says: ‘We were drawn to this secluded green space nestled in the heart of the city with its elegant London Plane Trees reaching upward. We imagined figures ascending through their branches as the leaves fall; moving, singing, calling, skyward and gathering people to this magical space to have a moment to sense themselves and the natural world around them as we enter Autumn.’
Created and co-directed by Rosemary Lee and Simon Whitehead
Choreographed by Rosemary and Simon in collaboration with the performers
Performed by Gisele Edwards, Milton Lopez, Isaac Lee-Kronick, Ben Stammers & Sianed Jones.
Performers at the Beneath the Boughs event poets and spoken word artists: Francesca Weekes, Amy Wolstenholme, Abraham Gibson, Remi Graves,
Singers and vocalists: Dessislava Stefanova, Kay Grant, Sianed Jones and Isaac Lee-Kronick,
Dancer- clogger: Kerry Fletcher with Chris Walsaw on English pipes
A Create to Connect project, supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union, funded by National Lottery through Arts Council England. Produced by Artsadmin and The Place, in association with LIFT. Developed from an original commission by Migrations.
Friday 21 October – Sunday 23 October 2016
- Performances: 4-7pm Friday and 1-3pm & 5-7pm Saturday & Sunday
- Music and spoken-word, with special guests (Beneath the Boughs): Saturday 22 October 7.15pm
- A Walk & Talk around the gardens with urban ecologist Bob Gilbert: Saturday and Sunday 3.15pm
- Traditional dances with Kerry Fletcher & bagpiper Chris Walsaw: Sunday 4:15pm
The associated events before and after each performance cycle will include
- Beneath The Boughs in Bloomsbury featuring an eclectic line-up of established and emerging artists will gather to perform after the tree performance on Saturday evening (22 Oct).
- A walking tour exploring the local ecology, led by urban ecologist Bob Gilbert around the park and the surrounding area (22 & 23 Oct 3.15 pm)
- Caller and dancer Kerry Fletcher will share line and circle dances traditionally danced beneath trees accompanied by bagpiper Chris Walsaw (23 Oct 4.15pm)