CLUSTER BOMB [collective]

Get the flash player here:

WaterWorks was a year-long process of performances developed by the [collective] around the material, theme and embodiment of water, flux, rivers and change.


Performances developed in the process included:

  • Surface: Tension - a durational performance installation of hundreds of clear glass vessels, live amplified hydrophone loops and Butoh-inspired choreographed drowning. 
  • Archive: Submerged - a site-specific solo interactive archiving of the [collective]'s exploration of the River Dart, as performed by the [collective] founder/director Sebastian Hau-Walker.
  • AquaDart > FalmouthFlow - a site-specific intervention in the Dartington College of Arts Library, whereby the [collective] created their own rebranded bottled water company 'AquaDart > Falmouth Flow' in order to emphasize the College's rebranding with humour, irony and parody: "Same Great Taste! Brand New Name!" See the brochure for more details. 


The performance process culminated in the satging of a site-specific promenande opera for the final Dartington Festival in 2010 - also entitled WaterWorks - to mark the end of Dartington College of Arts on the Dartington Estate, and to herald the new beginning of the College relocated to Falmouth, Cornwall.


Based upon the ancient Devonshire rhyme

"River Dart, River Dart,

Every year thou claim'st a heart" 

did the Opera focus on the rewriting of the ancient legend of the River Dart - the river running through the Dartington Estate -  demanding once a year a single human life, and when it's ready for 'a heart' it "cries" out to summon its victims towards it's perilous currents.


Combined with this ancient legend, did the [collective], dressed in black business suits, mourning wear and naval costume, stage a promenande Opera that lead the audience from the very room where the decision for the merger of Dartington College of Arts with University College Falmouth, through the Estate and former College ground, right to the shores of the River Dart.


In the dramatic finale, did the [collective] sail hundreds of brown paper boats down the River Dart, laden with tiny candles carried by the audience in small glass jars from one end of the Estate to the River, whilst the Last Post played on a lone bugle rung out across the waters, did the [collective] members step back slowly into the river, untying the White Hart flag from it's mast, before drowning in the depths of the dark waters....


...only to remerge, gasping for breath, and swimming over to the other side of the River Dart, before dissapearing into the other side, the unknown shore.


The [collective] were:

Silverley Allen

Ryan Eliot Ashley

Caroline Belt

Hannah Blacklaw

Jennifer Chawner

Elinor Duggan

Sebastian English

Alex Goodman

Sebastian Hau-Walker

Rowan Hennesey

Josephine-Joy McCourt

Isabella Shirely-Miller

Not drum strikes, but the dance

Of our waters sing

The pebbles into perfection

Your voices, my friends,

Wander our hearts,

Like the distant sounds of the sea

Among these listening oaks

Think of all the ages

Whom have floated

Upon our streams

Of life and love and death

And are forgotten;

Feel their freedom passing away.


Our night kisses

In your ear are

The fading day's whispers,

We are death,

All your mothers-

And to all we give fresh birth.

The dry river bed

Receives no thanks for its past.

The dust of your dead words

Clings to us all.



Come! Wash your souls in silence!




Here lies an everlasting paradise!


Here lies an everlasting present!


Here the river rolls into the sea,


And even here

lies the other shore,

waiting to be reached,


And even here

lies another world

longing for reclaim,


But far out there

lies a new world

and there my heart remains!


We stand by the river

We have learned to march so well that we cannot drown.

We will swim to the other side

If there is a bridge we will walk over

If there is no bridge we will walk wade


If the water is deep we will swim

If it is too fast we will build boats

We will swim to the other side!


To another world!




[Rewritten Libretto from the final act of WaterWorks from Stray Birds by Rabindranath Tagore.]

Make a Free Website with Yola.