I am excited to announce that we have received funding from the Arts Council so our October shows at Tortworth Forest Centre will be going ahead!
We will now be offering shows at Tortworth Forest Centre between the 8th and 10th of October. They will be magical twilight performances to softly mark the seasons change. “Breath of Beginning” will combine acrobatics in the trees with a musical soundscape to create an immersive narrative journey.
These will replace our May performances which we have sadly decided to cancel.
I love this time of year, a delicate, almost imperceptible shift takes place. That which has lain sleeping beneath the earth starts to emerge as the first shoots of spring. Soon delicate snowdrops and bright daffodils will line forests paths and urban roundabouts and verges. It is at this time that the Celtic people would celebrate Imbolc. This time of year was also known as “the hungry gap” as supplies from the harvest would begin to be in short supply.
The darkness of the early part of the year feels heavier to me because of the endless seeming lockdown, it is unclear to me at the moment how and when we will emerge. Spring shoots seem even more precious as a result and make me wonder what bright embers we can find in our own minds and hearts to give gentle attention to at this time?
I would love to invite you all to join us in the forest in May when our inner fires have been kindled and we can once again meet together and celebrate. Reserve your place as part of this unique experience of immersive theatre by following this link: http://whispering-wood-folk.co.uk/tickets/
It has been a privilege and a joy to be rehearsing at Tortworth Arboretum this week. Slowly letting the forest speak to us, finding mossy nooks, elegant branches and epic views in and against which to dance or fly. Working with some incredible artists in the midwinter glow.
What happens when we just listen? I feel a fiery frustration at the news Bristol is to remain in lockdown. Recently a kind of exhaustion has overcome me, I judge myself for finding my life as a solo parent/entrepreneur/artist/idealist scholar so tiring. I have pressed pause on listening to endless lectures and podcasts. In the gap I notice my mind quietly beginning to process the information I have absorbed over several months. New thoughts began to emerge.
Stillness feels aligned with the season. The light has the quality of wonder. Christmas in the past has always felt at odds with this to me, the same tired tunes emerging from supermarket speakers. In my heart I long for peace and the brightness of home.
Our winter offering “Breath of Beginning” is about breath but it is also about listening and returning home to our bodies and to the forests which sustain life. Noticing an ache as I realise how I have neglected both of these things.
If the forest could speak to us what would it say?
Diana Berresford-Kroegoer has been a guide on this journey. I would like to share with you a quote:
“Trees are sentient beings (recognised by Celts and many of the ancient civilisations). The Celts believed the trees presence could be felt more keenly at night or after a heavy rain and certain people were more attuned to tress and better able to perceive them.
There is a special word for this recognition of sentience: ‘Mohathiackt’ described as a feeling in the upper chest of some Kind of Energy or Sound Passing through you this is Ancient expressions of a concept that is relatively new to Science ‘infrasound’ or Silent sound – Sound pitched below the sounds of human hearing which travel great distances by means of loping waves produced by large animals such as Elephants and Volcanos – these waves can be measured as they emit from large trees – Children can sometimes hear these sounds.”
Our short film “Breath of Beginning” arrived from the cutting room on Friday. It is more beautiful than I hoped and we have already had some lovely feedback. If you would like to be among the first to see it and join a range of other free online activities register here for the Woodland Trust’s Tree Charter Festival.
We are sooo excited to have been offered funding from the Arts Council to create a beautiful film to be shown at the Woodland Trust’s Upload Festival. The film will be a celebration of forests, the way in which they support and sustain life. It will combine dance, acrobatics, narration and a mouth watering sound design.
Whispering Woods are also breathing life into their new show “Breath of Beginning” which will be performed at Tortworth Arboretum near Bristol in the Spring.
Here is a link to Upload Festival where the film will be shown: https://www.upload-festival.co.uk/streampark
Thank you to all of you who came to see our 2019 show Starflower – it has been amazing to feel the warmth and support which each of you brought.
I am excited to be diving into the creative process for next year’s show – learning some new acro moves with Jackie Clementines and enjoying a creative dialogue with Palestinian performance artist Riham Isaacs. Visioning a rich, cross cultural piece telling women’s stories from both cultures. Earthy colours, twirling and dancing in harnesses, spoken word, arabic music… disintegration and reintegration in nature, culture and self.
We recommend parking on North Road – the first turning on the right after crossing the suspension bridge. When you get to the National Trust sign on North Road take the left hand fork up to where the Ranger’s Office is – we will be there to greet you!
Bring whatever you need to be comfortable, snacks, outdoor clothing, a torch is strongly recommended.
See you soon,
Come and see our new show Starflower delicately crafted to fit into a forest near you! I can guarantee aerial magic, gorgeous music, beautiful settings and some elaborate head dresses!