THRIVE

29 April - 2 May: A joyful spring festival of Indian music, birdsong and hope

This is an archived event page

Thrive took place from 29 Apr – 2 May 2022. You can find out more about the Festival below. For upcoming festivals and other events. click here.

As we move through the year, the seasons offer markers for change and growth, and May Day traditionally marks the celebration of the beginning of summer. THRIVE seeks to harness the joy, sunshine and hope that the start of summer represents, and includes concerts in the Great Hall, craft and music workshops for children and adults, music on the lawn and a shadow play.

A strong Indian music theme runs throughout, including a classical Indian Dawn Raga performance and internationally renowned Tabla player Sanju Sahai, who has programmed a series of three evening concerts.

full festival synopsis

INDIAN MUSIC & CULTURE AT DARTINGTON: A PROUD HISTORY

Indian music runs through the heart of Dartington, with the Elmhirst’s vision very much inspired by Rabindranath Tagore, plus various visits and performances over the years by artists including Ravi Shankar, the introduction of Indian music into the music degree at the college with Imrat Khan and Sharda SahaI, and of course the Dartington Music Summer School & Festival.

WORLD-CLASS MUSICIANS, UNMISSABLE PERFORMANCES

We are thrilled that internationally renowned Tabla player Sanju Sahai has programmed a series of three main evening concerts, as well as the Dawn Raga performance and a workshop on demystifying indian music for us. Sanju has performed with artists such as Anoushka Shankar and is well-known at Dartington, having performed here many times before. Sanju has brought together an incredible group of musicians, both Indian and western, including Kirpal Singh Panesar, Nikki Wells, Matthew Barley and Jason Singh for a cross culture collaboration on the Friday, an Indian Classical concert on the Saturday evening, and a contemporary fusion project on the Sunday night.

IMMERSIVE FAMILY EXPERIENCES

Across the weekend children can participate in workshops painting birds which will form a part of a beautiful mural in the Green Table against a backdrop by the artist Alison Conway. There is also the opportunity for children to make bird boxes and bee hotels, and join a wild birds singing workshop with Holly Ebony.

We are also offering a family music workshop with Balladeste, and nature beatboxing with Jason Singh. Jason is a sound artist, nature beatboxer, producer, DJ, facilitator and performer who is currently Artist in Residence with the Trust. Jason will also be leading two of his very popular Land:scape listening walks around the gardens, hosting a DJ set on the Monday afternoon, as well as joining with Sanju for a night of contemporary Indian fusion on Sunday evening. There are also workshops for adults with Holly Ebony and Lucky Bird, details below.

The brilliant Clockwork Moth will be presenting two versions of their new show, The Owl Who Was Afraid of The Dark, a shadow play based on the novel by Jill Tomlinson, one will be a relaxed performance making it accessible to audiences who might find the normal conventions of attending theatre challenging.

OUTDOOR CONCERTS

There will be free music performances come over the weekend with the Great Lawn sessions. Starting with critically acclaimed indo baroque, alt-folk duo Balladeste on Saturday. The multitalented Holly Ebony on Sunday and a DJ set on the Monday.

FABULOUS FOOD & DRINK

And of course, we cannot ‘thrive’ without food and drink! Delicious sustenance will be available throughout the weekend in and around the White Hart, Green Table and Barn Café. As always, we offer food and drink that is locally sourced, sustainably produced and prepared with love by our estate teams. Expect lots of goodies including picnic hampers, street food, bbq and pizzas.

Concerts and workshops can be booked via the links below. We hope you will join us in what we hope will be a celebration of light, laughter and where we can all thrive!

how does ticketing work?

For music lovers keen to join us for the weekend, you can get 20% off when booking all three evening concerts in the Great Hall. Alternatively, you can just book for individual concerts, music & craft workshops, and other performances via links below. The White Hart and Great Lawn outside will form the heart of the festival fringe with free outdoor concerts plus plenty of fabulous food and drink to enjoy in the Spring sunshine!

Accommodation

For those coming from out of the area and wanting to stay on the estate, you can choose from a cosy bed & breakfast Courtyard room, camping and glamping at our lovely Camp Dartington site and our hostel-style rooms. For more information and booking, please click here.

getting here

For details on how to travel to our estate and maps to help you find your way around, head over here.

If you live in Dartington village or Totnes, you may be interested to know that we’ve closed the Lower Drive to vehicles from Saturday-Monday, to make it easier for those of you using greener forms of transport.

You can get to the bottom of the Lower Drive via the Access for All Path which runs from Totnes Train Station – click here for a map.

food and drink

We’ve got some tasty options for you to enjoy alongside our Thrive events!
Food stall opening times: Saturday-Sunday 12 noon – 8pm; Sunday 12 noon – 3pm

  • Our bar at The White Hart faces on to The Great Lawn and will be serving Mexican street food alongside the usual range of drinks and snacks
  • We’ll be firing up the pizza oven during the afternoon (available adjacent to The Great Lawn)
  • Plus: the good folk from Totnes-based outfit, Tamarind Tree, will be serving up their own stunning brand of traditional Indian street food and snacks (Saturday only)

On top of that, The Green Table will be delivering their usual range of fresh, delicious local produce (with family-friendly options available), and our Barn Cinema Cafe Bar also has hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches and tipples to choose from.

thrive programme

PLEASE NOTE that some events require advance booking – these are clearly indicated below.
Some free events require booking.

17 april – 26 june

‘The Sky is Full of Birds!'

17 April – 26 June

Come and see a beautiful hand-painted wall mural at The Green Table, created by the artist and illustrator Alison Conway. The mural will be home to an array of hand-painted birds that will be created by children taking part in our painting workshops.

You can also contribute to the artwork yourself – see ‘Put a Bird On It!’ workshops below (23, 30 Apr/1 May)

exhibition 

all ages

Free. More info >

friday 29th April

Musical Minds

7.30-9pm

An evening of eclectic music featuring four internationally renowned artists: innovator, composer, and Tabla artist Sanju Sahai; cellist and improviser Matthew Barley; vocalist and composer Nicki Wells; Shakuhachi maestro Adrian Freedman.

Expect the unexpected!

SPECIAL OFFER: Book all three Thrive evening concerts and save £15! Just add Musical Minds, Confluence, and Blissful Ragas to your basket and your discount will be automatically applied.

concert/show

ALL AGES

saturday 30 april

Put a Bird On It!

10-11am / 11.30am-12.30pm

Come and ‘put a bird on it’ by drawing and painting your favourite bird from the Dartington estate. Once you have finished, your bird will be placed on the ‘Sky is Full of Birds’ mural by artist Alison Conway in The Green Table café.

Event repeated on Saturday 23 April and Sunday 1 May

WORKSHOP

kids

Birds in Print

10am – 5pm

Produce your own hand-printed cards and prints on this gorgeous one day lino and relief print workshop.

WORKSHOP

adults

Demystifying Indian Music

11am-12.30pm

Indian music is traditional and modern, classical, and contemporary, and has richness and depth in its melodies and rhythms. Join us for this very special workshop to uncover the hidden mysteries of Indian music.

WORKSHOP

adults/older kids

Nature Beatboxing

10.30am

How can you use your voice to make the sounds of birds, the sea and even music inspired by nature? Join nature beatboxer Jason Singh in a relaxed, fun, and safe workshop exploring beats, nature soundscapes and effects all created using your voice and body.

This event is repeated on 2 May

WORKSHOP

kids only

The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark

11am-12noon / 2-3pm

On the edge of a woodland lives a baby Barn Owl named Plop. But Plop isn’t like other Barn Owls: he is afraid of the dark. With his parent’s support he embarks on a number of charming and funny encounters with those who love night-time – a Scout, a little girl, an artist, an astronomer, and Orion the black cat.

An intricate and mesmerising shadow-puppet show, with live narration and musicians, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark is a feast for the senses, suitable for adults and children alike.

A relaxed performance is also available for this event.

concert/show

family friendly

great lawn session: balladeste

3.30-5pm

Paving the way for an emerging new genre – contemporary classical meeting folk in its broadest form – Balladeste is a long-term collaboration between violinist Preetha Narayanan and cellist Tara Franks; an ever-evolving musical partnership and deep friendship forged over ten years.

concert/show

all ages

Land:scapes listening walk

5pm

Follow Jason Singh through the beautiful gardens at Dartington, absorbing sound, shifting gradients, temperature, and smell to inspire reflection.

This event is repeated on 2 May

walk/talk

ALL AGES

Blissful Ragas

7.30-9pm

Indian classical music follows a rich raga-based system, and these ragas can be associated to season, mood, emotion and spirituality. Join us to experience the depth, magic and beauty of Hindustani classical music and dance.

SPECIAL OFFER: Book all three Thrive evening concerts and save £15! Just add Musical Minds, Confluence, and Blissful Ragas to your basket and your discount will be automatically applied.

concert/show

ALL AGES

sunday 1 may

Soundart Dawn Chorus: listening radio

Information to follow.

walk/talk

ALL AGES

Dawn Ragas

7-8am

An early morning performance exploring the beautiful early morning ragas not very often heard in the UK. Enjoy meditation, relaxation, and calm in the beautiful surroundings of the Dartington estate.

concert/show

ALL AGES

Put a Bird On It!

10-11am / 11.30am-12.30pm

Come and ‘put a bird on it’ by drawing and painting your favourite bird from the Dartington estate. Once you have finished, your bird will be placed on the ‘Sky is Full of Birds’ mural by artist Alison Conway in The Green Table café.

Event repeated on Saturday 23 and Saturday 30 April

WORKSHOP

kids

Eco Bird Houses and Bee Hotels

10am-12noon / 2-4pm

Provide a warm, weatherproof and eco-friendly shelter for your garden birds and bees!

If you’d like to help the wildlife in your garden, why not have a go at making your own nest box or bee hotel with found and recycled materials? Led by Chris Smith, Project Director of New Futures Academy, the workshop is for all ages and runs for two hours.

This event is repeated on Monday 2 May

WORKSHOP

kids

Build a Tiny Treehouse!

10am – 12pm / 2pm – 4pm

Imagine living high up with the birds in your own magical treetop house! Using the most gorgeous array of natural, foraged materials, let yourself be inspired, creative and be carried away by your imagination at this wonderful two hour artist-led workshop.

Event is repeated on Monday 2 May

WORKSHOP

kids

SoundsAround Family Workshop

10.30am

Join string due Balladeste duo to explore improvising and creating new music from scratch, inspired by birdsong and natural surroundings.

All ages 8+ are welcome at this explorative and collaborative family workshop, where participants will be using their voices, percussion and musical instruments to create music together.

WORKSHOP

AGES 8+

Cloudscapes

11.30am/12.30pm/1.30pm/2.30pm

A wonderfully calming and restful experience that combines calm clouds, mindful moments, contentment and words. Audiences are encouraged to look up and contemplate ever-changing clouds, as well as our ever-changing world, guided by the soothing voice of performer and creator Lorna Rees.

concert/show

ALL AGES

great lawn session: Holly Ebony

3.30-5pm

Bringing a distinctive, natural voice as mellifluously heady as a summer’s night and peaty raw as the Dartmoor landscape she hails from, Holly Ebony is joined by the full force of her sensitive, intuitive band.

concert/show

ALL AGES

Confluence

7.30-9pm

Confluence is a fusion of Indian classical, jazz, beatboxing and drum and bass. It’s a unique meeting of mind and soul with Giuliano Modarelli (guitarist, composer and producer), Preetha Narayanan (violinist and composer) and Jason Singh (sound artist, beatboxer and DJ).

SPECIAL OFFER: Book all three Thrive evening concerts and save £15! Just add Musical Minds, Confluence, and Blissful Ragas to your basket and your discount will be automatically applied.

concert/show

ALL AGES

monday 2 may

Eco Bird Houses and Bee Hotels

10am-12noon / 2-4pm

Provide a warm, weatherproof and eco-friendly shelter for your garden birds and bees!

If you’d like to help the wildlife in your garden, why not have a go at making your own nest box or bee hotel with found and recycled materials? Led by Chris Smith, Project Director of New Futures Academy, the workshop is for all ages and runs for two hours.

This event is repeated on Sunday 1 May

WORKSHOP

kids

Build a Tiny Treehouse!

10am – 12pm / 2pm – 4pm

Imagine living high up with the birds in your own magical treetop house! Using the most gorgeous array of natural, foraged materials, let yourself be inspired, creative and be carried away by your imagination at this wonderful two hour artist-led workshop.

Event is repeated on Sunday 1 May

WORKSHOP

kids

Wild birds singing

10.30-11.30am

Wild Birds Singing is an outdoors singing session for children and families lead by Holly Ebony.

Playful, nature themed songs full of positive, empowering messages and simple harmonies offer your whole family the opportunity to immerse themselves in music and movement.

WORKSHOP

parents & toddlers

Nature Beatboxing

10.30am

How can you use your voice to make the sounds of birds, the sea and even music inspired by nature? Join nature beatboxer Jason Singh in a relaxed, fun, and safe workshop exploring beats, nature soundscapes and effects all created using your voice and body.

This event is repeated on 30 April

WORKSHOP

kids only

Land:scapes listening walk

2pm

Follow Jason Singh through the beautiful gardens at Dartington, absorbing sound, shifting gradients, temperature, and smell to inspire reflection.

This event is repeated on 30 April

walk/talk

ALL AGES

great lawn session: jason singh

3.30pm

Bringing together his love of nature and Indian music, Jason will be dropping a special DJ set of music from around the world inspired by nature, wildlife, ancestral rhythms together with Indian Classical, Bollywood Funk and Eastern Drum and Bass. Bring your dancing shoes!

concert/show

ALL AGES

feral chorus

5-6pm

Calling those who feel the urge to dig their toes into the soil and howl at the moon!

Lead by Holly Ebony, this session is an opportunity to shed cultivated ideals around singing. No experience necessary, just a willingness to sing in community with a passion for the wild.

WORKSHOP

adults

art for balladeste events
Art for The Owl who was afraid of the dark
Art for jason singh land:scapes events

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