The Night Breathes Us In
Saturday 25th March, Forbury Gardens, Reading
AFTERNOON SESSION (12.30-5.30PM) THREE WORKSHOPS
Introduction and First Sessions: 1.00 – 2.30pm Choice of a) or b)
a) Outdoors: Time Walk– the story of the Earth in a thousand paces
Take a journey through time, of nearly five billion years, tracking the story of our home planet. Marvel at the way everything on Earth evolved from stardust. From the origins of our world through eras of amazing life forms to the present moment, this is the strangest true story ever told. Your cosmic guide will be artist, musician and theatre maker, Annabelle Macfadyen.
b) Indoors: Dark Mountain, Issue 10
Author and Dark Mountain editor Nick Hunt will introduce Uncivilised Poetics, the latest anthology from the Dark Mountain Project. This is our tenth collection of stories, essays, poems and images, produced in a hardback edition. We will share readings from the book and explore the wider impact of Dark Mountain as a cultural movement in a time of profound change.
Second Sessions: 2.45-4.00pm Choice of a) or b)
a) Indoors: Crossing the Bridge – navigating ourselves in Deep Time
A group exploration of the ancestral calendar of the growing and solar year, led by writer and Dark Mountain editor, Charlotte Du Cann. The session will look at the challenges and opportunities represented by the eight stations or 'doors' of the year, focusing on the Spring Equinox.
We will be looking at the layers of time (as distinct from 24/7 mechanical time) - which includes the seasons, biographical time, the times we are in (history, era of climate change), as well as ancestral or mythic time - and sharing new ways this 'clock of stones' can teach us how to be real human beings, rooted in place and time. Please bring a stone, or the memory of a stone, that has held significance for you through time.
b) Indoors: Singing the Dark
Darla Eno and Tamsin Wates invite you to join them in a celebration of the songs and sounds of the dark. Taking inspiration from the habits of animals at night, we will use body and voice to begin exploring how darkness opens an elevated level of perception and sensory awareness. From a place of listening and responding, we will allow our collective sound to emerge.
Third Sessions: 4.15-5.30pm Choice of a) or b)
a) Outdoors:Stepping Out into the Dark
In this session, writer, therapist and 'human rewilder' Steve Wheeler will lead a series of collaborative games to help us to reconnect with our bodies, to trust in the natural wisdom of our hearts. The session will take as its starting point the age-old human instinct to draw close to a lit place of safety, safe from the wildness lurking in the shadows all around. Through conversation, movement, partner work and imagination, we will explore what it means to embrace the shadow-side, and to step boldly out into the darkness of the unknown.
b) Indoors: Holding the Fire
Lucy Neal, theatre maker and author of Playing for Time: making art as if the world mattered, hosts this exchange of stories about warmth and holding true to our inner fire. Inspired by Sicily’s 3rd century activist, Lucia of Syracuse, who ‘held the fire’ on her head when taking soup to the poor, with the help of a wooden headtorch, illuminating a path through the dark.
EVENING SESSION (6.30-10.00PM)
Procession and Performance
The Night Breathes Us In
At 6.30pm we will light the lanterns and begin our procession through the streets of Reading. The walk will take approximately 30 minutes – look out for ‘interventions’ along the way. Arrival at our secret woodland location will be marked by a literal and symbolic crossing point. Be prepared for strange encounters on a journey through an enchanted otherworld!
Once we’ve gathered in the woods, the fire will be lit and we will share a feast of stories, music, songs and poetry. The evening will formally end at around 10pm, with an escorted walk back to where we began.
Much of the afternoon and evening will be spent outside. Please wear warm clothing and sensible shoes and bring waterproofs in case of rain.
Our workshops and evening performance may have adult themes and content. We recommend that if you are bringing children, they should be aged 14 and upwards.