I want to co-create a “Dance Farm”: Indoor and outdoor dance studios integrated with permacultural farming and natural building with permanent and temporary dwellings for people to experience and experiment with healthy and holistic connected living in which art and spirituality are part of the daily not just things you go to special people or buildings to inhabit.
I have been studying Ecosystem Restoration Design during the Covid lockdown period, which I was inspired to do by Ash Brown of Ecosystem Restoration camps, with whom I’ve been discussing the Dance Farm idea but this city girl really needs to get her hands dirty..
My lovely lockdown hosts Sophie and Trevor Devooght helped me compose this letter (Sophie also insisted I document this journey):
Dear [Farmer’s name],
You are changing the world. And I want to help.
Your farm is part of a growing movement of permaculture pioneers. You’ve looked at the existing ecosystem and agricultural industry and seen that it’s not only unsustainable—it’s actively destroying the very world we depend on. People like you are lighting the way toward a brighter future for our earth, our species, and our spirits.
The permaculture movement has inspired me tremendously in recent years. I’ve been a dancer, a filmmaker, an artist at large whose hands have been invested in wonderful creations in so many media. I can tell you that after a long period of intense study, there is nothing I would rather have my hands on than the very soil our lives depend on.
I have a unique vision of building my own “dance farm”, a place where, just like you, I can restore a part of the earth with a more loving method, together with the healing work of dance. The ultimate goal of such a place is to embrace equilibrium with our world and within ourselves. I believe these two relationships are inextricably linked. What I lack is the first-hand knowledge and experience of creating an environment like yours.
I would like to come and join your community for a time that would be helpful to you and take instruction working with you on your ongoing projects. I am very keen, hardworking and so very curious to learn (and a great cook!). During this time, if you’re willing, I will also score and structure dance, drawing and writing exercises, workshops and/or programmes and, with your consultation, endeavour to integrate this with the needs, activities and intentions of your present (of all ages).
If any of this resonates with you, I would love to hear from you. You can reply to this email or get in touch by phone. I genuinely thank you for taking the time
Best wishes, Lucy Thane
I have so far visited Incredible Farm and Warland farm on the Yorkshire/ Lancashire borders in the UK. Inspired to explore those parts by the incomparable Nwando Ebizie (who is essentially being a major mentor of this burgeoning idea)
I then went on a bit of an epic journey through Brittany, near Limoges, Villefranche-sur-mer, Luzern, Berlin, Marseille, Tarragona.. The wonderful Yue Wang (who did incredible camerawork for the last few I am not a Village shoots) interviewed me about my journey and plans in Friedrichshain park in Berlin (where she now lives, the bastard “hostile environment” British not having renewed her visa; she’s a Chinese national)
I then went to Keela Yoga farm to work as a Permaculture intern.
I made my first foray into “DanceFarming” by offering a Tamalpa based workshop to my fellow interns, Jimmy, Joana and Dal, on Kimberley’s Yoga Deck before we started Farm work on the Monday morning (YES I did get up before Beyonce the Rooster!)