Touring around

We’ve been dashing around the country(ies) this past month. I’ve got very good at untangling headphones and charging mp3 players, checking weather forecasts and examining google maps. Two of our destinations were in Brittany, France. We were invited first to Brest and then to Sarzeau on the Rhys Peninsula and I felt extremely privileged to be there. Laure Bachelot was a wonderful and quite frankly essential translation and artistic support, given that my French is embarrassingly terrible (MUST do something about that!) The equally wonderful Petra Soor also joined us in Sarzeau where we presented Embodied Drawing as well as Walking Stories. The sun shone, the walks were received with delight, the French appeared to make sense (well done Anne-Gaelle Thiriot!) and we adventured Walking Stories onto a white sand beach, the grounds of a Castle and a lost garden. Thank you to Dansce Dialogues 2 for supporting the tour and making the initial connections.

Here are a little collection of photos from the trip to the Rhys Peninsula care of Petra Soor.

In the meantime, if you are Yorkshire/Northern based, then we are in Roundhay Park, Leeds this coming weekend 14/15th June. If you haven’t already experienced Walking Stories, then now’s your chance! Roundhay Park is huge and beautiful – come and join us for a  walk in the park. Booking HERE!

Great review

Thank you to Rachel Blackman from Fringe Review for writing such a beautiful piece about Walking Stories in Brighton Festival. She gave it the ‘Outstanding Show’ stamp and her brief ‘low down’ looked like this:

“Contemplative and profound, Charlotte Spencer Project’s audio walk through woods in Stanmer Park draws you effortlessly into an experience of natural choreography. It is a choreography of groups and solitude; of the natural world and the rhythms and patterns that emerge from everyday living. It is one of the most calming, quietly beautiful and evocative outdoor pieces I have ever experienced.”

This together with unbelievably beautiful weather, and a collection of delightful audiences, meant we couldn’t have hoped for much more at Brighton Festival! To read the full review click me! Weekends like that make me feel so privileged to have the job I have…

And so the tour continues – we are back in Brittany, on the Rhys Penninsula next week and then Walpole Park in Ealing on 1st June before heading north to Leeds.

The walks in Ealing are FREE! 1pm and 3.30pm To reserve your place, please email Alys Hughes: HughesA@ealing.gov.uk

7th and 8th June, Leeds: If you’re looking for an opportunity to get a bit more deeply involved with Walking Stories, how we made it, and how you can become involved in some of the performances, we’re running a performance project workshop in Roundhay Park, Leeds. More information and Sign up here

Walking Stories will be in the same park on 14th and 15th June, with four shows per day. To find out more and to book your place click me!

Ok I think that’s enough plugging for now! Enjoy the bank holiday weekend…

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Dear UKBA – from Jennifer

Dated: Future-ly, 21.07.13

Dear UKBA, Home Secretary and minions of:

I have been a virtual traveller for the past 3.5 weeks.

I know that you have prohibited my travel outside the UK by ‘retaining’ (greedily keeping it for yourself, ahem… don’t you have enough passports in your collection yet?) my passport; however, I am pleased to announce that I have now mastered the art of astral projection and have been maintaining a steady presence through France these past three weeks.

Mainly, I have been taking up a very small amount of space in a camera. This is ideal, as I then don’t have to deal with the inevitable explanations regarding my lack of visibility in the images themselves. I am of course somewhat at the mercy of David’s curiosity, interest and skill (! really, he should stick to the poetry), which means that I miss the other’s perspectives – but perhaps everyone would have wanted to document the different spiders at close range. As well as the close-up with the cow… well. I had never imagined their breath would smell so sweetly!

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There are a few drawbacks: I’m afraid I don’t feel the same weight of work in my legs as the others… and given the tenuous position of my immigration status in this country, similar to finding myself on a tightrope stretched over an abyss, I do miss the earthiness and heaviness 6 hours of cycling brings. I feel I need heavy legs at the moment. Maybe if they get heavy enough, I’ll be earthbound forever… no plane will fly me and boats will sink under my tread, thus ensuring my continued residency in the UK.  But perhaps I need to be lighter, nimble  enough to dash across the rope to the other side… or back the way I’ve come (even though I don’t fancy my chances doing an about-turn on such a narrow platform, ballet school notwithstanding).

I had tried to mirror the efforts of the group from afar, cycling from London to Cambridge (68 miles) and Cambridge to Peterborough (39 miles). This was very successful in creating shared space in different places, via SMS – but also, simply trusting that we were each doing what the other was from afar – a potent psychological space. For reasons specific to my situation (that of not-knowing my fate and wanting to be available should I need to access the many documents necessary to help determine it), I took the train from Peterborough to Leeds to be physically present with the tightrope, keeping tension on the line.

I feel a certain fragmentation: this is clearly part of the astral projection, but also to do with my projection into the camera. I am not privy to the whole of the landscape, its integrity, the roundness of 360… the aperture here is made up of 90 degree angles. I wonder if you can relate to this in your roles as caretakers (cartographers) of immigration? How do you feel about the aperture of ILR Form Set(O) as a way to understand my desire to remain in the UK? Does it give you enough scope? I fear it might be flat, in the way two-dimensional things are. I fear it fails to account for the roundness of my existence here. I fear it fails to address the roundness this country is for me.

I suppose this notice of refusal shows that it has failed; hence I will plead my case in the full three-dimensions. Hopefully, when we see each other face to face, rather than through these 90 degree angles, we’ll be able to reach an understanding.

Stour Valley Arts a quick snap shot

Since the last time – a sharing in Swanley Park with South East Dance, a long cycle from London to Wye in Kent (70 miles, no 80, actually let’s just say 100…) a few days in the woods at Stour Valley Arts and another long cycle from Kent through Sussex all the way to The Point, Eastleigh in Hampshire. Plenty of sunshine, a birthday feast for Jennifer, and a bit of work thrown in! Pari Naderi joined us on Wednesday to take some photographs. It seems that we didn’t like having our portraits taken so much….. but nevertheless here we all are: Tristan, Tom, Charlotte, David, Jennifer and Bruno. More (serious/artistic) photos to follow along with a longer post about what’s been happening. One more week until we’re in Bristol as part of The Big Green Week

SVA group 1 web SVA group web