Theatre maker Brett Bailey who recently returned from a successful tour to France and Spain with Third World Bunfight’s production of SAMSON, has once again devised and conceptualised Constellations with this year's theme being ‘Into the Woods.’ Explaining the concept, Bailey, who will once again adopt a non-directorial approach, describes how forests and wild places feature in the mythology and tales of many peoples, often presented as strange liminal regions beyond ordered familiarity and civil society’s codes. “Take Goldilocks and Hansel and Gretel for instance,” he says. “Such tales confront weird and wonderful characters while in Xhosa folklore wilderness creatures are forever threatening to invade the fragile boundaries that define the homestead. Also, woods are often associated with dreams, imagination and the unconscious arena, and from the eco perspective, they are cherished as wildlife havens that deserve to be treasured and protected.” Spier is the ideal fit for this event, a destination committed to the arts, long term sustainability and biodiversity, and it provides an enchanting setting for these magical performances.
Twenty-seven artists -called the Fire Guardians- will present at Constellations this year. Bailey has curated three routes, each with three Guardians who will receive their audiences around their own campfire. The element of surprise is that people will have no idea which Guardians of what type of performance they'll encounter on their journey. Each session will be approximately thirty minutes long and will take on a variety of forms be it interactive, presentational, sharing or meditational, whatever each artist feels best represents his or her ‘Into the Woods’ interpretation.
Constellations is an opportunity to connect with others through intriguing encounters while ensconced in a nocturnal ring of enlightenment. For the Guardians, a diverse group of musicians, storytellers and performance artists, the experiences are equally validating, a way to creatively explore the outdoor space.
“Constellations is a sensorial, cultural encounter with strangers and nature, and aimed to enchant. Spectators will return to the city with the smell of smoke in their clothes, their souls enriched and their imaginations expanded,” adds Bailey.
As always, COVID-19 precautions will be upheld with sanitising, social distancing and small groups moving about in safety. Spectators are encouraged to wear warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
Constellations runs at Spier from Thursdays through Saturdays from 25 November to 18 December 2021 at 20h00 with arrival promptly at 19h30. Tickets cost R180 per person and include a glass of Spier wine on arrival. Picnic tickets cost from R500 to R850 per couple with arrival times at 18h00 for the mini picnic and 18h30 for the sunset picnic. In line with COVID-19 restrictions, advance booking is required and limited seats are available. PG12. BOOK HERE.
A 30% accommodation discount at the Spier Hotel is also available to ticket holders who can claim the offer by booking online with the code CONSTELLATIONS. Located only 40 minutes outside of Cape Town, Spier, one of Stellenbosch’s oldest wine farms, is the ideal winelands getaway destination with a host of leisure activities, pursuits and wholesome family experiences set against the backdrop of a unique historic werf and vineyards tended with a contemporary farming sensibility that places the earth and people first.