LARK: Living Archive of Re-membered Knowledges

LARK is an ongoing collaboration between Laura Burns and Shelley Etkin through which we ask how our shared material-spiritual practices – working with the land, nonhuman and human ancestors, system constellations, herbal medicine, intuitive healing practices and divination – emerge hybrid creative forms. LARK’s work traverses performance, choreography, conversation, embodied archives, pedagogies and community futures.

LARK has held artistic research residencies in Ponderosa and Betonest (Germany), The Yard Theatre (U.K.), and Performing Arts Forum (France).

LARK co-facilitated the ‘Land Listening’ workshop at Ponderosa as part of the Garden as Studio platform, 2017

COVE is a performance piece directed by Laura Burns, in collaboration with Shelley Etkin along with music by Jonah Brody. COVE was performed at The Yard Theatre, London, July 2017

Photo by Can Askan

COVE emerged from a research and development phase, working with System Constellations – a group practice and therapeutic working model for family and extended systems. In this work, Burns brought an interest in working with constellations specifically when collaborating with place, and the nonhuman ancestors present in the memory of different sites. Here, the human and nonhuman share a language, and speak to one another through archetypal energies that emerge during the devising process. We worked in an old cement factory on the East German – Polish border, now the site of residency centre Betonest. Rituals were carried out on site, which were not for public viewing or sharing. The performance that emerged out of this time is an ongoing artistic research question around working with constellations as a choreographic process for bringing ritual into the contemporary theatre space.