In early February, I danced away a wonderful weekend at the MMM Lodge Hill Residential Dance Workshop. What I love about MMM courses is that they are all SO different almost as though they have their own personality! And Lodge Hill is no different. The accommodation is not the best in the world but the lovely old house is perfect for a cold winter’s weekend break, tucked away on top of a hill, surrounded by woodland and with magnificent views across the wintry landscape over the South Downs National Park. The food is superb and evenings spent chatting in the cosy, oak-panelled lounge after a full programme of MMM dance lead by the brilliant Jan Houselander, is bliss. If you haven’t done to yet, I highly recommend you give this course a try next year. It was a great weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Gail
We were joined Rosalind, an MMM teacher from Switzerland ‘I had a great time with you girls and it gave me lots of ideas for my class, it’s always good to go back to the roots’
Despite my limitations, I had a great time at Lodge Hill amongst friends. Jan was an enthusiatic and tireless teacher and had the class dancing energetically throughout the weekend.Thanks to all who attended the course and look forward to spreading the word and bringing more people along for next year. Jeanmarie
Following my career as principle dancer and ballet master in Scotland and Internationally, I am now looking to take full advantage of this very fortunate and rich experience and further develop my art as a choreographer. The choreographic medium I have chosen to work in is an area in which I have been drawn into latterly as a mature performer and teacher. It is inspired by the life work and philosophical approach to movement developed by Margaret Morris (MMM), although in many aspects contrasting to the classical background I was raised in, it is also aesthetically complimentary and draws on my own artistic pleasure and fascination for natural movement. The psychological and physical demands of this movement genre are unlike other dance forms, MMM is, and should be, accessible to all. My aim is to bring together, this established yet, in many accounts, uncharted movement approach with my own expertise and joy for dance and to re-establish it as an inclusive art form that crosses ages, cultures and identities and to make it readily accessible for a wider creative community.
The West Midlands MMM have held annual dance week-ends at Lilleshall for over 60 years with illustrious teachers including Margaret Morris, Jim Hastie, Leila Shaw, Valerie Wood and many others. 2013 was a great week-end with Barbara West leading the way.
Sadly over the years the number of participants enjoying this week-end has decreased and it is becoming uneconomical. We really do not want to lose this course, so why not make 2014 the year that you experience dancing in his beautiful location with first class residential facilities.
Have you ever been asked this question? It seems to be one of the world’s best kept secrets. Out of 11 courses due to take place in 2014, only 1 is listed with the word ‘Dance’ in the title and promotes itself as a dance workshop.
Every MMM dance event brings out the snappers with their cameras and smart-phones, yet strangely, the preferred publicity images are picturesque location shots or experimentation with Word Art. A picture is worth a thousand words yet our creative, enthusiastic, diverse group of dancers and movers seem to prefer the use of words, rather than images of MMM in motion.
We are dancers, we love to dance and to see others dance and move to artistic stimuli. We love colour and motion mixed with music. It is time to tell the world, at every available opportunity, that we dance.The next time that you need to promote MMM think about this and maybe we will no longer be a best kept secret.
Searching through the web and looking at the assortment of dance and exercise systems on offer I came across Prancersize. I am sure that you will delight in the technique that the innovative creator of this method demonstrates in this you tube clip. Influences can come from a variety inputs, so if horses are your thing – go for it. Personally, I find dancing with the MMM technique physically and mentally more challenging and rewarding.
I know that there are not many people out there following my limited antics, but I hope someone notices that I have been away for a while. Our annual Summer School is nearly upon us and there is so much to do in the background to ensure that the event runs smoothly. Classes, teachers, rooms to allocate. Evening events to organise. Paperwork to compile, not to mention the teacher training programme. This year I am the timetable lady and on Saturday evening I sat at my computer to unravel the many variables, it was like starting a jigsaw puzzle. When you first look at the pieces it makes no sense at all, but after you get the outline in place, the picture starts to appear. All very picturesque, but when I looked up it was 4.35 on Sunday morning. It was light and the birds were singing their dawn chorus. Nearly done, now all we need are dancers, creative minds and enough energy to keep us going to the end of the week.
you are welcome to join us: http://www.margaretmorrismovement.com
I look at Margaret’s words telling me where Fergus moved to in 1913. With a map and general directions to the Avenue de la Salis, I walked along the coastal path that links the port of Antibes to Plage de Salis via several sandy beaches with sun loungers and golden ‘sand lizards’ basking in the bright sunshine. I turn into the Avenue and examine the house names. It suddenly came to me that Margaret had written “off the Avenue de la Salis behind a modest villa … named ‘La Farandole’”.
Intuitively, I took the next turning: the Chemin de l’Ermitage and then Traverse de la Plage curved back towards the beach. I tried to imagine the view without the many buildings erected since 1913. I’d walked a long way but was determined to give one more turning a go. And there in the Avenue de la Salisette, on the corner with Impasse de la Salisette, I discovered ‘La Petite Farondole’. Behind it was a simple building, newly ‘done up’ with a large double gate keeping me and any other passing strangers out. I so wished I’d brought Margaret’s description of it and maybe even found some sketches. My own very rough sketch reminds me now of the barred windows facing out to the road; it indicates the balcony and one of those rectangular chimneys reached up from the roof to the Provencale sky. Now I’m home, can I be sure I found where Fergus and Meg spent Dec 1913 together?
*Morris, Margaret (2010) The Art of JD Fergusson: A Biased Biography, Fergusson Gallery Perth & Kinross, (first published in 1974)
Antibes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)