Sunday, 12 June 2011


Last night was time for an outing for one half of Sakura! Sarah had only just returned from hols so I was off on my own (well, with my sister, who's a bit of a tribal groupie!) over that well worn trans-Pennine track to Keighley for a gig with Arcomnia (I just feel so down and wiv-it saying 'gig'!). Tribe of Leodis are a new improv project headed up by Chris Ogden and this was our first outing together (for some of us at least - last night was a busy night event-wise) - improvising to live music!

I've got to say, from the minute I walked into the Small World Venue I felt right at home! My social life now seems to revolve entirely around dancing, but this place - dark, laid back, friendly, atmospheric  - was exactly where you'd have found me when I did get out and about more!

There was time for chilling and a quick drink whilst listening to local singer/songwriter/folk guitarist Spence before Arcomnia took to the stage and it was all systems go for Leodis (Chris, Clare, Debbie & Cayte). For those of you who don't know, Arcomnia  play ancient music with sympathetic modern grooves using English Border Pipes, didgeridoo, clarinet, percussion, keyboards and programming.  On their Facebook page they describe their musical style as :

"combining influences from many areas including Sufism, the Breton tradition, European Paganism, native Australian musics, 12th & 13th century Galician/Portuguese song and early Judaeo-Christian chant. In the pieces based on pre-existing material the melodic contour of the source is retained as much as is practically possible, then rhythmically adapted to a sympathetic deep hypnotic groove. In using these melodic structures as a point of departure, we are exploring an ancient substratum in which resonant musical archetypes can be approached and mixed in meaningful way. These themes are designed to be expanded upon in performance - every time they are played is a unique experience."

Put quite simply, Arcomnia are fantastic - great to listen to, and fabulous to dance with! If you're not familiar with their music you need to check them out NOW - on Facebook, MySpace and Reverbnation. They have a couple of cds out now, and tracks available for download, and you really do need to get along to some of their gigs (see, I did the getting-down-and-wiv-it thing again!). They've a couple of videos up on You Tube; this one is from last year's Singing Sticks which I believe is a didgeridioo festival (how exciting is that? If I wasn't away doing some dance training I'd be seriously tempted to go this time around!) :

So, how did the dancing go? Well, I loved it! It was fabulous, laid back improv - just so much fun dancing with you all, ladies! Improv is all about that connection - to your fellow dancers, to the music and to the audience, right there and then. It's about how you feel whilst and after you dance and it's about how the audience feel. All of that was there last night, and we got some great feedback.One person commented on how our dancing and style really complemented the band perfectly - which is exactly what we were aiming for! I would like to do it all again tonight please!

I know the other Tribe of Leodis girls would have loved it too, but ain't it the way that the best events always clash? Hopefully there will be more opportunities in the future.

Until then, happy dancing!


  1. It was a fantastic gig, Arcomnia are brilliant and i absolutely loved the danicing so the combination was sublime.....lots more please :), Sam (smallworld)

  2. a very sensual and atmospheric performance with sakura complimenting the sound of arcomnia. we would really like to do it again some time...fantastic and thank you for the heart beats..the venue crew.

  3. Thank you both - we had a great time! Let's do it again!

  4. I always think that we are greater than the sum of our parts when playing to dancers. It is a great effect having the colour, movement and downright gorgeousness accompanying us. Many more to come I hope.

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