The Cycle of the Birds

The Cycle of the Birds
The Cycle of the Birds

This was the final Company of Imagination project, created for performances on Outney Common, Bungay, Suffolk and with new participants at Midland Arts Centre, Edgbaston, Birmingham during July 1991. A short residency also took place at Hewitt School, Norwich for expressive arts students.

On one level The Cycle of the Birds was about the migratory movement of birds, their calls and songs, courtship displays, territorial instincts and the fragility of the egg – the World Egg – from which a new cycle of life emerges. On another level it was about the migration of people and their enriching cultural influences. Folk tales and legends from Europe, India and southern Africa were interwoven with fact and fantasy. Traditional rituals and ethnic music combined with physical theatre and contemporary music to spin tales of poetry and magic.

The cast list featured swans and parrots, hoopoes, swifts and The Old Woman who were members of the creative team, expresive arts students from Bungay High School and local adult and youth volunteers. It was directed and narrated by Helen Crocker, with Vinata Godbole (dancer/choreographer), Shashi Kumar (singer/arranger), Sianed Jones (composer/performer), Wanjiru Gichigi (dancer/choreographer), Maggie Campbell (designer/maker), Chris Oades (assistant director/performer), Timandra Harkness (production manager), and Nicky Stainton (Administrative Director).

The Bungay residency was supported by Eastern Arts Association and Waveney District Council and promoted with the Bungay District Arts Forum. The Birmingham residency was commissioned by Midlands Arts Centre.