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Calling Tree

Rosemary Lee

Calling Tree by Rosemary Lee & Simon Whitehead. Photo by Ray Jacobs.

Located in and around an ancient tree in the heart of Tottenham, Calling Tree is a durational performance of song, movement and messages that will be presented as part of LIFT 2016. For four hours each day, bird-like calls, songs and messages will echo out from the canopy of the tree. Performers will continually appear and disappear, fluctuating between restful perching to passionate vocal and physical activity.

Rosemary and Simon will be bringing together an eclectic group of performers – Giselle Edwards, Milton Lopes, Alesandra Seutin and Ben Stammers – to create a bespoke durational performance for the specific habitat and social sphere of this magnificent oak tree in Bruce Castle Park. During their residency in the park over three weeks in June, they will also be working with local people and integrating their contributions into the performance – from a choir of young women who will perform a specially commissioned song by Terry Mann to the poems of Year 5 children from Lancasterian and Risley Primary Schools developed with poets Abraham Gibson and Deanna Rodger.

Using the tree as a gathering point, there will also be a range of associated events from spoken word, songs and dance events to a local walks with an ecologist and bird specialist. (See details below.)

This gentle yet powerful act of reclamation invites visitors and passers/by to stop, look up, and reframe their view of what is around them.

Whether you stay for five minutes or linger for longer (bring a blanket and lie on the grass!), expect to see – and hear – the iconic tree in a completely new way.

All events are free and take place by or under the tree, situated by the children's playground. 

Thursday 30 June  

4-8pm: performance (cyclical)

Friday 1 July        

4-8pm: performance (cyclical)
8.15-9.45pm: Beneath the Boughs: spoken word and music with special guests including:  Abraham Gibson; Kerry Fletcher with Ravi Sawney, Anil Duman and Onur Cabuk; Deanna Rodger; Jess Hardie; Sianed Jones; Isaac Lee-Kronick; Sam Lee; Jenny Minton, Helen Chadwick & Rebecca Thorn; Phil Minton; Rebecca Gyasi & friends.

This event will also feature the poetry of local school children and from entrants of the international poetry competition Ways to be Wilder – Poetry Society Young Poets Network.

Saturday  2 July

10 – 11pm: movement session with Rosemary & Simon
1.30pm: local walks – ornithologist David Cotteridge & urban ecologist Bob Gilbert*
2.30pm: talk – stories of the tree’s biology & history & legacy – Bob Gilbert
3pm: circle and line dances led by Kerry Fletcher with Ravi Sawney (fiddle) and Lucky Moyo (drum)
4 – 8pm: Performance (cyclical)
* to book a place for the walks contact / 020 7650 2350

Created and co-directed by Rosemary Lee and Simon Whitehead

Choreographed by Rosemary and Simon in collaboration with the performers

Performed by Gisele Edwards, Milton Lopes, Alesandra Seutin, Ben Stammers

Riggers Joe White and David Berstein

Vocal coach Sianed Jones

Original music by Barnaby Oliver, Isaac Lee-Konick and Terry Mann

Poetry by local school children working with poets Deanna Rodger and Abraham Gibson

Walks and talks led by ornithologist David Cottridge and urban ecologist Bob Gilbert

Participatory dancing led by caller and dancer Kerry Fletcher with musicians Ravi Sawney and Lucky Moyo

Co-produced by LIFT and Artsadmin, presented in association with The Place.  An Imagine 2020 (2.0) and Create to Connect project, supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Additional support from the Adobe Foundation Fund and Haringey Council.

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 the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Made at The Place.


Date and time

30 June – 2 July 2016

Please note
This is now a past event.


LIFT Festival, Bruce Castle Park, Tottenham
N17 8NS