For the last five years the wild rumpus that is Artful Badger has held court in the bosky woods of Wilderness and Secret Garden Party. By night their carnival of creatures lures festival goers into rapturous adventures of dance, ritual and theatre. When the light returns each day, the Badgers host a selection of unique and extraordinary WILD Workshops to explore and play with the edges of your wild selves.
Now, for the first time WILD Workshops are travelling from their woodland home to reside for a season in the beautiful setting of Evolve Wellness centre, West London. Evolve will host 6 workshops running from the 1st October to the 1st April 2016 exploring the relationship between our imagined self and our physical bodies through practices from mask medicine to dance meditation.
Artful Badger brings WILD Workshops to West London
Date: For immediate release
October 1st, Evolve Wellness Centre, 13.00 (meet Zoe Cobb, founder of Company of Animals)
November 5th, Evolve Wellness Centre 18.15 (meet Freddy Drabble, co-founder of Artful Badger and director of WILD Workshops)
Deep in the concrete jungle a spirit is reawakening...WILD Workshops come to Evolve Wellness Centre from October 1st.
Freddy Drabble the co-creator and co-director of Artful Badger is delighted to be able to offer this programme to a London audience:
Artful Badger’s core objective has always been to encourage people to express themselves freely and authentically; to liberate their bodies from the stresses and strains of urban living and help develop a deeper sense of self. In fact the party side of Artful Badger grew from transformational workshops, and so the opportunity for us to bring them to London feels like we are returning to our deep and wriggly roots!
All our workshops are designed to be a safe spaces to play, to dance to our edges, to go deeper into the untamed, unnamed parts of the self that often get neglected in our fast-paced, high-tech world.
We want to show that it is possible to connect with our wild sides in a city setting. In the same way that the mindfulness movement has brought meditation practices down from the mountain and into people’s everyday lives, we hope these workshops will show people how to retain this connection with the rich innately wild part of themselves wherever they are.
WILD WORKSHOPS are immensely proud to be part of the conscious celebration movement, alongside pioneers like Morning Gloryville and Summerhouse. Together through shows, events, practices and information sharing, they aim to emphasise the importance of health - not just of the body, but also the mind and spirit, and uncover how all three are intrinsically linked. This joy-infused, youth-led movement is emerging everywhere from festivals to food stalls, from yoga schools to online MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). It centers around detoxing, stress release, mindful practices, self-expression and radical acceptance.
The practices central to this movement aren’t new, in fact most reference the ancient indigenous connection between communities and nature, through costume, ritual, song and dance. The WILD WORKSHOPS have been particularly designed to invite participants to uncover and reestablish this innate connection.
Freddy Drabble, founder and co-director of Artful Badger and WILD Workshops, has over 15 years experience as a dance theatre practitioner, DJ, live music programmer, facilitator and ecstatic dancer. With his partner Maria Rita Salvi he is developing a new Free Dance class - combining meditation, visualisation and ecstatic dance.
Freddy is passionate about bringing more conscious, body-centric practices into the heart of society.
PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED
30 years ago practices like yoga, meditation and T’ai Chi were beginning to become popular in the west, but they remained firmly in the realm of new age spirituality. In 2016 things have changed significantly: most small towns have at least one Yoga studio and hundreds of other unusual practices like sound healing, life coaching and movement meditation are becoming a regular part of people’s health and fitness regimes. This trend relates directly to a new focus on health by the public, that has extended further than just nutrition and fitness to include peace of mind, removal of stress and reinforcement of self esteem. For seven years I have been growing the WILD workshop program, with a view to bringing these practices and their benefits to a wider audience that may never have heard of these techniques, and thus never had the choice to include them in their personal practice. This impulse feels like a calling that I am driven to perform and I wonder if some of you know this feeling - the calling to bring this philosophy and its abundance of benefits to a mainstream unconverted audience.
The aspect of this shift that has surprised and pleased me the most is that a good portion of young people today are actively choosing to avoid drugs and alcohol as means of finding themselves as adults. For a long time I have believed that rave culture was to our western youth communities, like a rite of passage is to indigenous communities. Adolescents are removed from their family group, sent into the unknown in often dangerous circumstances, deprived of food or given shamanic plants to induce a sense of dislocation with their childish selves with a view to helping them find their strength and role as fully independent adults. The difference between the two experiences lies only in that the visionary and life-changing experiences reported by young ravers do not have the support of figures of trust and authority in the form of elders and their traditions. The similarities between the two led me to believe that what our society is lacking is a modern rite of passage, and that the spreading of these practices into the mainstream is our community’s response to that lack - offering empowerment, insight, self-confidence, self-understanding and motivation to those seeking to move out of the sphere of their families protection and influence and into the a world of conscious self-determination.
However, to make this great opportunity accessible to the unconverted, we need to de-mystify these practices. ‘The mysteries of the Orient’ - meditation, enlightenment and oneness for example are thoroughly off-putting to the realist minds of most urban westerners. As the bulk of our market led world does not operate on this basis, the truths offered by these schools can often seem distant, ephemeral, hard to integrate and over-optimistic. So how do we make this accessible and easily applicable to the occidental mind?
We do this via the body. Interesting new Epigenetics research is confirming that the mind affects the body at a cellular level and vice versa. And so by working with the body we are indirectly working on the mind. The classic example is stress. We know that stress born in an agitated mind leads over time to a build of tension in the body. If left unchecked this leads to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. By working on the body to release trapped tensions and unravel habitual patterns we can offer the mind an alternative route to overcoming the challenges of a stressful life. This will be different for each body, and must be done in a way that is unique to each body; the body does not lie and will take the route of less resistance to re-establishing balance. For myself and Mari Rita Salvi, as we develop our new dance meditation class FREE DANCE, this principle of tension release has become the central pillar via which all the other benefits are accessed. This is not a mystical concept - this is not a spiritual manifesto - it can be understood by anyone and so we hope it can be accessible to a wider audience.
And so bodywork is the door to an un-esoteric understanding of holistic health and optimised potential: These themes will be explored during our new WILD Workshops London program at the EVOLVE Wellness Centre in South Kensington over the next 6 months.
Zoe Cobb teaches our CONNECTION CREATURE workshop on 1st Oct and explores through movement how we connect to other people around us, working to discover a better way to represent ourselves and appreciate others, to get the best out of our team collaborations and social communities. FREE DANCE on 5th Nov helps release tension before expressing oneself completely freely in movement. Charlotte Dillon brings us the REVELATION OF THE MASK on 3rd Dec, which allows us to find out about ourselves through our intuitive creative decisions as we make a mask. Cloe Jackson’s DANCE YOUR NAKED TRUTH on 4th February encourages us to liberate ourselves from our self imposed limitations and find our own body authenticity. Dan Hernandez delves into the playful world of ritual theatre and clown as a means of self-discovery in DIVINE RIDICULOUS on 4th March. And Rob Wilson helps us understand the holding patterns of the body and how we can release unresolved situations through the body itself in BRAZILIAN BIOENERGETICS on 1st April.
Each of these workshops is offering a different route to your own personal truth via the body, as an alternative to via the mind. Rational analysis of one’s situation can be illuminating, but implementing change on the mind from a place of mind can be very difficult, as the mind tends to protect itself and there is a conflict of interest. Alternatively, the body does not lie and will tend back towards equilibrium if allowed that freedom by the mind.
I am extremely excited that the WILD Workshops is part of a world movement towards a different type of consciousness that will lead to mental and physical health for our western communities and eventually to the health of our planet. And I am certain that the more practical the explanation of this path to those still finding it, the more people we’ll be able to get onto this runaway train of transformation. I have placed myself squarely on the bridge between the world of partying and the world of holistic practice - convinced that in us raver’s search for community, fun, beauty and self-expression we can find a more direct route to these objectives and perhaps make better parties in the process!
Thanks for reading and please feel free to send me any of your thoughts on this debate, as I am thoroughly open to engaging other approaches to achieve this goal of taking holistic practice mainstream. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also keep an eye out for my new show “TOTEM” on Badger Radio which explores these themes in more depth, whilst bringing you the best dancing music from all over the world both old and new. You can follow Badger Radio on Mixcloud here. To read more about our workshop program click here.
6 unique workshops exploring movement, meditation, magic of masks and merriment….
Saturday October 1st 2016 - The Connection Creature - an afternoon workshop exploring identity, self development and group dynamics through movement with internationally renowned theatre director Zoe Cobb.
More details: ë-cobb
Saturday November 5th 2016 - Free Dance - a joyful journey of self discovery through movement, visualisation and guided meditation led by Artful Badger co-founder and director Freddy Drabble and Skinner Releasing teacher, choreographer and dance theatre performer Maria Rita Salvi.
Saturday December 3rd 2016 - The Revelation of the Mask - an afternoon of luxurious creativity and self discovery. Come and create a wonderful 3D mask as unique as your fingerprint and explore deeply and creatively your sense of self! Led by Charlotte Dillon Founder of Head of House Designs and UK’s first Kinetic museum, Kinetica.
Saturday February 4th 2017 - Dance Your Naked Truth - an opportunity to explore liberation, expression and radical acceptance through the symbolic action of shedding clothes and coverings. A safe a guided space to explore and celebrate your raw beautiful self. Led by yoga and dance teacher and director of The Dancing Universe, Cloe Jackson with musical accompaniment from Michelle Crozier.
Saturday March 4th 2017 - Divine Ridiculous - join us on a unique journey, a ritual, time and space to play with ideas of psychomagic theatre, awareness of spirit, mask, clown, storytelling, improvisation...not to mention mischief and merriment! Led by seasoned performer, clown and musician Dan Hernandez.
Saturday 1st April 2017 - Brazilian Bioenergetics - a form of body psychotherapy that works to relax the armours and holding pattern of chronic muscle tension and emotional tensions which may have got stuck in the body. Rob Wilson who leads this afternoon workshop trained with world renowned practitioners in Brazil and has been practicing all over the world for the last 7 years. He leads these therapeutic workshops with a playful heart-centered approach.
The workshops build on and compliment each other and we’d like to offer a discounted rate for booking 3 or more of the workshops. Please contact Sophia (email@example.com) for more details.
Quotes from workshop participants:
Dance Your Naked Truth is a wonderful, wild, heart-warming experience. It always amazes me how each one is different and yet the quality of open, expansive, tribal celebration remains the same. In a very subtle and unobtrusive way, Cloe created a very safe space for people to let go of what holds them back from being their true self. A rare combination of humanity and divinity accepted as one.
Jenny, Bristol about Cloe Jackson’s Dance you Naked Truth workshop, 4th Feb 2017
I really connected with hidden aspects of myself, Hernandez really allowed for an environment to play freely within. His close attention to each one of us in turn really nourished this freedom and he was able to draw more out of us than we thought we could give.
Workshop participant about Daniel Hernandez’s Divine Ridiculous workshop, 4th March, 2017
Zoe's playful and curious approach leads you to unexpected places within your own physicality, the meeting of bodies and what happens in the spaces between them. Her enthusiasm for creating art and adventurous spirit is truly infectious.
Rachael Alexander about Zoe Cobb’s The Connection Creature workshop, 1st October 2016
For more information about the workshops and how to book please go to:
For additional quotes, photos and information please contact Sophia on firstname.lastname@example.org