Located in and around an ancient tree, Calling Tree is a series of durational performances of songs, movement and messages. Bird-like calls, songs and messages echo out from the canopy of the tree as performers continually appear and disappear, fluctuating between restful perching to passionate vocal and physical activity.
Originally commissioned by Migrations and developed with support from the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project, Calling Tree was co-directed by choreographer Rosemary Lee and movement artist Simon Whitehead. Working with a small team of aerialists, singers and performers, they were in residence in a tree in the heart of Betws-y-Coed, North Wales for a number of weeks before premiering the performance over two days in summer 2014.
In this next stage of the project, Rosemary and Simon present a bespoke performance and series of events in and around the plane trees of St George’s Gardens in Bloomsbury, following the animation of a 500-year-old Oak tree in Bruce Castle Park in Tottenham as part of LIFT Festival in June 2016.
Designed to encourage us to look upwards, to consider our position on the Earth, Calling Tree is a gentle yet powerful act of reclamation and activism.
‘This piece touched deeply on our need to connect with nature, in a simple, gentle way. It was never preachy, but left me with a sense of hope. I had the feeling of being washed through, and at the end was on the brink of tears, not of sadness, but of joy & delight.’
‘Had me completely enraptured, wish we could do this in London.’
‘…completely inspiring for an old man like me.’
Calling Tree was developed from a commission by Migrations and supported by the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project, with funds from The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Akademi, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Dance Initiative Greater Manchester, DanceEast, DanceXchange, Fierce Festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Independent Dance, Royal Shakespeare Company and South East Dance. Additional support from Adobe Foundation Fund, the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Made at The Place