I recently had the pleasure of meeting artist Pierre Albuisson and learning all about his fascinating project Tilleuls à Danser – The Dance Lime Tree Project. Pierre explains,
Dance lime trees have come down to us from an extremely ancient European tradition. The earliest representation of a dance lime tree is found in Anne de Bretagne’s celebrated Book of Hours, which dates from 1508...
Dance lime trees were planted in the centre of villages. One or more platforms, supported by wooden structures, were built around their trunks, and these were used for dancing. Rope-makers, who used lime tree bark for their ropes, were the first to build platforms in lime trees in order to facilitate their work. Over time, these platforms began to be used by the villagers for dancing, and little by little they became places where festivities occurred, and where people gathered to dance.
The Dance Lime Tree project is aimed at city neighbourhoods, villages, and local societies. Its goal is to revitalise European villages with Dance Lime Tree events and the eight annual Nature Festivals, resulting in a renewed role at the community centre for the Tree. For years and centuries to come, the Tree will be part of the village, facilitating the transmission of traditions and cultural heritage.
This cultural project helps to reinforce identification with one’s community. It reminds villagers of nature’s cycles, and recreates feelings of being rooted in one’s home. It also provides concrete opportunities to enliven village life through lively festivities.
To learn more about the project, the history and to get involved, visit the Tilleuls à Danser website.