A Heightened Sense of Tree

A Heightened Sense of Tree

In 2020 we began a new R&D collaborative project called a Heightened Sense of Tree (AHSOT).
A collaboration led by Thor McB + Lindsey Butcher (dir of Gravity & Levity -One of UK’s most experienced aerial dancers & Choreographers).

Our basic concept aims to sensorially ‘describe’ the forest in movement, sound and light, transporting audiences up into the canopy and into Forest-time.’

Offering a sensorially rich stage, infused with associations, vertical surfaces, rigging points, peri-phonic soundscapes, acoustic nuances and layers of depth: the forest is a world away from the urban or cultural spaces we usually work in where outdoor vertical dance is usually confined to large scale spectacle accompanied by a soundtrack of broad-brush-strokes.

Witnessing the profound effect that spending time amongst trees and natural woodland has upon us, we wanted to explore collaborating within and about this unique context and its potential to offer a new dimension to our work; one that allows a more nuanced and immersive form of engagement. One where the notion of ‘access’ can be expanded to underpin and inspire the experience for all; inviting people to listen, absorb and surrender to ‘a heightened sense of tree’.

An idea that has been years in the planning – received ACE funding in partnership with the National Trust to start in the New Forest in Spring 2020 – only to be stymied by Covid and NT falling in furlough – Then salvaged in between lockdowns in Autumn 2020 at Whirleygig Woods in Cheshire – becoming a brilliant success with a fantastic team of creative pro’s joining us to produce a whole body of new ideas in tree’s, in rain & shine, mud & lockdowns closing in all around us, captured in this video below.

We are developing the concept into a more consolidated form in 2021 – so watch this space!
– and if you are interested in partnering in on this innovative new venture, then do get in touch.

Enjoy and thanks again to the incredible team that made this all happen so fantastically. xx

Photo’s + video (and editing) largely by Mark Morreau www.morreaux.co.uk
with additional footage by Thor McB

Collaborative Partner: http://www.gravity-levity.net/

A Huge thanks also to Arts Council England, whose emergency funding helped enable us to realise this despite Covid + to Wild Rumpus (www.wildrumpus.org.uk) who supported us with the place to do the work.

Resolution Pro-Audio Magazine featured a ‘Day-in-the-life-of’ article about Thor McB – which describes a day in the midst of this R&D process, and gives a little insight into the proces: