The Ball of Towie by Mike Bell
A dance inspired by Babette Barthelmess’s meditations on the symbolic meanings of the Neolithic carved stone ball found at Towie, Aberdeenshire.
The movements of the dance embody both the physical designs carved into the ball and the symbolism of a ‘creation myth’ describing the emergence of life’s pattern from the void.
The themes are circles and spirals of increasing complexity, patterns of four, and tetrahedral arrangements, in which each dancer is set in equal relation to all the other dancers within a set.
Dancers are arranged in triangular sets of two couples. The dance consists of four separate figures, the last of which is progressive. The dance would suit a 32- or 64 bar jig or reel.
Towie ball fact file
Date Around 3000 BC
Made from Stone
Found Glaschul Hill, Towie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Museum reference X.AS 10
On display Early People, Level -1, National Museum of Scotland
Did you know? More than 430 examples of objects similar to the Towie ball are known.