There is an exhibition in homage to Luke Howard ‘Namer of Clouds’ on his 250th anniversary at The Room, 33 Holcombe Road N17 9AS – 15 November 2022-14 December 2022.
Also included – Sandie Macrae’s film “The Most Beautiful Shadow of a Doubt”.
Open Mike Poetry Reading at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 22 November, and then viewing by appointment after the opening. This is part of a whole series of events in Tottenham – at the Hub Recreation Centre and at Bruce Castle museum.
And finally Help me Turn Kids into Clouds – call out for kids, parents, teachers, dancers, performance artists – for a childrens performance art event on Saturday 26 November (weather permitting) at 11.30 for 12 at The Lordship Hub Cafe https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d9556659-Reviews-The_Lordship_Hub_Cafe-London_England.html#MAPVIEW
For the performance, bring a single flat sheet, pale in colour.
Equipment. One single flat sheet per performer. Costume: white, grey or pink.
HOLD ON TIGHTLY TO THE ENDS OF YOUR SHEET – The Short ends!
1 CLOUD SAILS/CLOUD TRAILS
Fill a shared sheet with the wind. Walk or run with it. Or each performer may take a single sheet and run as fast as they can with it, so that the sheet flaps in the wind in their wake. Run around an in between other performers, who may be performing another exercise. That is fine. You are the wisps of cloud under and beneath and around the edges of other clouds.
2 CLOUD ROTATIONS AND RIPPLES
Share the shake of the sheet, one of you at each short end. Rotate your sheet on the spot with a sheet shared like this with a partner – which could be interesting done increasingly fast or slow. Then really slow the action down to doing it so slowly no one can see you moving.
Can you turn inside out? That is, start facing each other and then work out how to turn under your arms and end up facing outwards? Can you reverse and get back to facing each other without twisting the sheet?
Or try folding the sheet so that it is half as wide. The folded width of a single sheet can be held by its folded corner right up next to that performer’s shoulder and the other corner held in the same way by a partner so that the folded sheet dangles down to their ankles.
Now you can revolve in towards your partner, and your partner can do the same. You can both do this standing up or rolling on the ground (depending on the weather). Explore all possibilities. Try working in sixes (three pairs) – what patterns can be made?
3 A CLOUD QUARTET
Two sheets shared by four performers ducking under and over their sheets. Perhaps this could be done in an avenue of performers – in the manner of English country dancing.
4 LONELY CLOUD/ONLY CLOUD
If alone, what can you do with your sheet?…….. Can you put it over your head? Can you twirl round, hidden by the sheet. What else can you do?
5 LARGE CUMULUS GROUP CLOUD
Three performers face outwards each holding one corner of the short end of a sheet, thus they are holding three sheets in an outward facing circle, and one performer takes up the sheet at the other short end, but holding the two short-end corners as do another two performers with the other two sheets. Now we have a sort of cloud three-leafed clover. One performer gets into the middle of the circle and improvises with their own sheet, as the other performers step sideways, slowly revolving the whole combination. This requires seven performers. Four sheets.
It can also be performed by six performers forming an outward-facing circle, connected by six sheets, with six performers using both hands to hold the other ends of the sheets. Now there can be two performers sharing one sheet in the centre of this larger circle. This takes fourteen performers. Seven sheets.
To parents, dancers, performance artists, group leaders: this performance will depend on your own creativity and the creativity of your teams. I suggest working with unelasticated single flat sheets – but some of you may get ideas for double sheets. Clouds can be white, grey, pink. Remember, simple actions can look great en masse. Actions can be shuffled or staggered or done at the same time or done in opposing directions. Actions may seem tentative at first, but with practise a very simple action becomes crisp and disciplined. A drone will film the performance from above as well as from the ground, and the best view will be the one from above. Imagine the grass as the sky and we are painting clouds in it.
Clouds move slowly as well as fast. Instil this idea in your performers. Use acceleration and deacceleration. Sometimes try moving so – which is often true of clouds. So the performance of any of the ideas suggested below might begin fast and end up so slow no one can see any movement – or vice versa.
Repetition will be of the essence in what you do, and the more you repeat, the smoother and the more controlled the actions will become.
Encourage everyone to come up with new ideas, and use any that seem promising.
If some of your team are particularly interested in video, create a film team which works towards making an excellent video of the final performance. They will need practise as well, and they may pick up excellent out-takes (short footage of details) which can be useful later.
I present a few suggestions, but it is up to each team to create its own cloud performance. We might finally do these performances one performance at a time, and then, use the entire field to perform all of them simultaneously. Then we will have a cloudscape! Mixing the exercises, performing exercises simultaneously, or all performing one (such as Exercise 7) at the same time are what will create our cloud performance.
And on the day, come with macs, and headgear and gumboots – just in case it rains.
When sharing another performer’s sheet, tie your own sheet around your waist. Work out a fancy way to do this that doesn’t take too long to do.