Cedar Dance Animations Presents
A Chronicle of Spring
Take a Virtual Break from Coronavirus – A Series of Films dedicated to the NHS in the UK
A tranquil journey around a rural meandering path in a wild wood, as the season of spring unfolds.
This series of short films, shot in regular episodes, was prompted by a heartfelt response to the rapid increase in the UK of cases of Coronavirus from March 2020. Filmed in a remote part of the UK, each episode offers a quiet interlude from the Coronavirus pandemic and associated pressures.
The series aims to share something tranquil, relaxing, and vibrant with viewers. It hopes to touch stressed key workers, including care workers, NHS staff at the forefront of the fight in the UK, plus all those who have to self-isolate at home, including people with disabilities and those who have lost loved ones.
The Chronicle of Spring series, charts the unfolding of the season in an isolated location in the UK. Each film is presented from the perspective of a wheelchair user following a winding access through a wild wood that is emerging from winter, with buds breaking and new spring growth.
Chronicling the parallel inter-connectivity between trees, plants, shrubs and wildlife linked by the winding path, the film is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of all teamwork in care and voluntary work in this time of crisis throughout the UK and the world. When Coronavirus becomes a distant memory, it is hoped that the films will remain a lasting chronicle of the dance of Spring.
Horatio’s Garden is a national charity creating and nurturing beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres to support everyone affected by spinal injury including patients, their families and friends facing long stays in NHS hospitals. If you would like to support this charity, we are asking for all donations to be made online at www.horatiosgarden.org.uk/donate or you can simply text SPRINGTIME to 70450 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message. You will be opting in to hear more about the work and fund-raising carries out by Horatio’s Garden via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text SPRINGTIMENOINFO to 70450.
A Chronicle of Spring Episode 1 : Follow the Labyrinthine Path
A Chronicle of Spring Episode 2 : Early Spring
A Chronicle of Spring Episode 3 : By the Water
Director Janet Randell
Cinematographer Lewis Bayley
Janet Randell, Director of the film series A Chronicle of Spring, is Artistic Director of The Cedar Dance Theatre Company and Cedar Dance Animations Ltd., and Creator and Producer of The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms , also trustee of the charity Woods, Hills and Tracks Ltd.
Lewis Bayley, Cinematographer for A Chronicle of Spring, is also video and technical editor for The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms, and freelance Cameraman/Editor.
Each film was directed and filmed following UK government guidelines for social distancing and travel. © 2020 Cedar Dance Animations Limited
Background to the Film Series – A Chronicle of Spring
Choreographer Janet Randell planned the wood featured in A Chronicle of Spring many years ago, with access for all, including those in wheelchairs.
Janet Randell writes: The films record the contrast of nature through the eyes of the camera. They aim to transport viewers to a calming environment as the season progresses.
I hope to encourage viewers to ‘take a tour’ round their own garden, whatever size, from large to window box, and to discover and enjoy nature with its daily dramas unfolding on their doorstep.
An ideal backdrop and inspiration for this series, the wood was planted on the site of an ancient felled woodland with the help of the Forestry Commission, members of the local community, including ex-patients from the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI), members from Care Homes, volunteers from churches, and young people with learning difficulties and disabilities from a local college. The resulting environment, planted with selected scented shrubs and a variety of trees around a winding wheelchair access, provides a calm and satisfying experience. The aim was for disabled people to enjoy a sense freedom, with all the benefits of fresh air: seeing, smelling and touching the plants or trees and observing or hearing wildlife, accompanied by the sound of a running stream – all in contrast to the restriction of being confined in a limited environment.
I have been privileged to observe the complex choreography of nature following the transformation from field, site of the ancient woodland, into a replanted new wood, and to study the development of this arboreal habitat. I designed and envisaged the project through the eyes of a choreographer, as a series of dynamic woodland scenes, with the trees and shrubs each playing their part, so to speak, in the interactive live dramatic scenario.
My aim has been to provide an uplifting tranquil sanctuary – a precursor to the ethos of the inspiring Horatio’s Gardens now being planted in the grounds of NHS spinal injury centres in the UK. The wood is used for varied therapeutic activities by groups such as Prospects, Livability and the local college, who all support people with learning disabilities as well as for film and dance projects.
It is hoped that, in the future, a small offshoot of Horatio’s Garden will be created by the entrance to the wheelchair access and woods. This would be for the benefit of patients of MCSI who are on the cusp of facing the challenges of leaving the Spinal Injuries Unit. An aim would be to include updated facilities.
The films in the series are envisaged as a poetic presentation of the development of nature along a rural path, viewed through the lens of the camera during the season of spring. As the films progress, they mark certain events along the Western Calendar, and are intended as a contemplative view of the current unprecedented situation regarding the Coronavirus world pandemic and its aftermath.
Each film varies in mood from light and meditative to more intense, with extracts from prose, poems or scriptures. Created for enjoyment, the films aim to help focus on renewal and regrowth as an impetus for mindfulness in supporting mental health and wellbeing. This sense of awareness is recommended by the NHS for use by everyone, including people of all faiths, and of none.
Contributions of poems, prose and other appropriate reflections on the theme of hope are especially welcome, particularly from those working on the front-line or in supporting roles.