A Killy Weekend

Sara in Action

Last year a new MMM weekend dance course was held for the first time in Scotland,
organised and run by Sara Lockwood and Chantal Bréavoine, which was something quite different and most enjoyable. So I was pleased to hear that the Scottish/French alliance was planning to go back to Kilquhanity (pronounced “Kilwanity”) for a second year. My curiosity and a real desire to attend a course at which I would not be teaching were in the back of my mind as I made my travel arrangements for April, allowing for the weekend in Scotland before returning home to Germany.

Research in Google had shown that Kilquhanity was in quite a rural location, and Sara’s excellent pre-course information confirmed this – so her quiet warning that the mobile phone network was not too reliable set me wondering whether I could last for four days without being able to go online. Or maybe this was just another deliberately arranged detail of this idyllic location that Sara and Chantal had chosen, among other reasons for its historic importance for MMM.

Reaching for the StarsTwo full days of creative work lay ahead of us as we gathered on the Friday afternoon and got to know each other (quite a group from England, and a lot of lovely Scottish ladies, some of whom were quite new to MMM), the studio, the three houses where we were accommodated and the plan for the weekend. Not to mention the wonderful catering provided by Jools, a local caterer who completely spoilt us all weekend. That alone would have been reason enough to be there, enjoying the sunshine and mild Spring temperatures. The programme was cleverly built up around the central theme of Rhythm, Sound and Music Composition as described in the book “Margaret Morris Dancing” and both teachers had prepared themselves thoroughly, with interesting classes involving sounds and rhythms which we made ourselves from materials found in the abundant nature around the studio. Jan Houselander also gave a class each day providing us with a break from the main subject, enjoying some fun MMM in between. A well varied programme was rounded off by relaxing evening sessions in the lounge – the final one finishing off with some – dancing, what else?

Killy was a delightful experience and an all-round success. Returning home to Germany the next day made me realise how far away from my normal life I had been over the weekend. I hope that Sara and Chantal will find an equally fascinating theme for the next episode of the course, as continue they must.

Gillian Goldberger

Goodbye Kilquhanity

Goodbye Kilquhanity

 

 

Jan Around The World

JAPAN DOING EGYPT

JAPAN DOING EGYPT

Having had the privilege to train with the late Jim Hastie, his belief in me opened up wonderful teaching opportunities. My teaching started in London, England and over the years it has expanded to many countries around the world.

I have seen wonderful places with invitations to teach in France, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Greece, Australia and Japan. I am always thrilled to experience the contrasting cultures. Often, I am also lucky to be escorted off the beaten track to places of beauty or history by a local who is proud to educate me in the wonders of their country.

CANADA DOING AFRICAN CHRISTMAS

CANADA DOING AFRICAN CHRISTMAS

In each location I see eager faces and bodies willing and wanting to learn about MMM dance, its history and technique. It is universal and all are eager to progress, to see what the next challenges bring and get lost in the love of dance – I hope that this never changes. I have been part of many exhilarating MMM gatherings, and am reluctant to point to individual experiences, as they have all been so fabulous.

I can’t believe how lucky I have been, and am grateful to all who have invited me to teach. Their generosity, kindness, support plus the many excursions outside of teaching made each occasion unique. From every trip I bring home a memento to hold the experience close to my heart.

Dance training with MMM is just a start and is accessible to anyone who has a love for movement, but for those with teaching potential, it can open up a world of experiences. So start your training now – the world is your oyster.

Jan Houselander

BAREFOOT

Originally posted on Donna Wootton:

BAREFOOT

Third in a series of achieving a better lifestyle

My positive life experience is through an exercise and dance programme that is a fusion of movement and breathing at a level of discipline that feels comfortable for ongoing mental and physical fitness.
This discipline is over 100 years old.
It is called MMM (Margaret Morris Method).

I started with posture and balance. Now I am moving on to barefoot. Barefoot dancing develops strength in the many muscles of the feet and ankles giving support to the whole body. How can a body achieve balance without the support of the feet? MMM has exercises that are specifically designed to keep feet fit and healthy. How many people do you know with terrible feet? Doing these exercises is like giving yourself a reflexology treatment. Look at my foot where I am demonstrating part of a toe exercise:

feet 002

Margaret Morris developed MMM…

View original 190 more words

HOW I BECAME INSPIRED TO WRITE THE NOVEL ISADORA & LUCIA

The MMM membership is blessed with a variety of artistic and creative dancers. Here is the story of one of them.

Donna Wootton

Donna Wootton at work

When I decided in my retirement to offer MMM classes they did not go well. It was hard to attract participants to something that was not understood. There was much competition in the small town where I now live. Many activities were offered to the public that are well known. By the time I arrived at summer school in 2010 at Chichester I felt defeated. That was my state when I came across a book on Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce. It was a hard cover book with wonderful pictures including some lovely ones of Margaret Morris. I learned she had taught Lucia Joyce at one point in her thwarted career. That’s what I discovered reading the book. Instead of pursuing her muse she was compromised for the sake of her father’s writing career. My heart went out to her. I felt great empathy. I emailed the professor who had written the book saying I thought if Lucia had been allowed to continue with Margaret Morris, who served as a den mother to the young woman, she would not have ended up in an asylum for most of her adult life. Lucia could have been successful as a teacher of little children. My imagination filled in an alternative life for her.

So being a writer as well as an amateur dancer, I started to construct a novel. For years I wrote and had my work edited but failed to find a publisher. Then I learned that the professor whose book had inspired me had been sued by the grandson of James Joyce because he didn’t like how she Screen shot 2015-03-02 at 23.35.47had portrayed his family. Yikes! Had I wasted my time? I felt like that young woman with a thwarted career in dance and writing. Fortunately things have changed. The estate can no longer sue because the works are now in the public domain.

My decision to publish my novel as an ebook was based on my thwarted career as a dance teacher and novelist. We are all products of our time. Ebook publication is a cheaper route than print. It is available worldwide so can reach dancers who are also readers everywhere.

Donna Wootton

At the heart of Isadora & Lucia is the story of a young woman becoming educated and gaining independence. It is also the story of someone finding her muse and following her heart while working in Oxford, England, and travelling in Northern Italy.

Isadora & Lucia, a novel by Donna Wootton can be purchased on http://dmwauthor.wordpress.com and clicking on the book cover.

Ballets Russes comes to East Croydon

Monday November 10th 2014 An evening of talk, exhibition, art and music.

ballets russesTrinity School, Croydon – where the arts facilities surely rank among the best in the country. With a sublime ballet performance by London Russian Ballet School, an art exhibition, an illustrated talk by Chris Holley on Diaghilev, Ballets Russes and their extraordinary impact on Modernism in the visual arts – plus songs from a Russian singer and a glass of wine – seems like it’s not to be missed. Chris has been a great supporter of MMM for many years and following a Fine Arts degree course at UCA, Farnham, she has exhibited her work and given talks all over the country.  <http://www.holley-projects.co.uk>

Through J.D. Fergusson, MMM has a great connection with Ballets Russes and it is embedded in its history. “…they were the greatest nights of anyone’s life.” Renowned Scottish colourist J. D. Fergusson whose art, along with that of Matisse, Picasso, Rodin, the Futurists and many more major 20th century artists, was inspired by nights out at scandalous Ballets Russes productions in Paris.

Tickets are £5 – see flyer for details

Ballets_Russes_Flyer_x_9th_Oct

 

Kilquhanity, South-West Scotland

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Kilquhanity House – venue for the MMM Scotland Residential Dance Course 2015

In the 1943 Margaret Morris held a summer school in the rural region of Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland. In 2014 MMM Scotland held its first dance residential course. This was so successful that a further one at the same location-Kilquhanity, will be held in 2015. The course encompasses several aspects of Margaret Morris Movement with classes in MMM Colours, variations, Dance Classes and an exploration of Margaret Morris’ creative practice based on her writings in “Margaret Morris Dancing”. From this book we particularly discover her chapter “Rhythm, Sound and Music Composition” and how these are interpreted through movement. The course has a communal air with everyone dancing together in the one dance studio, a converted stable with a heated wooden floor Kilquhanity is part of four school sites based in Japan that have developed education inspired by the teachings of Aitkenhead, A.S. Neill and John Dewey amongst others. The essence of Kilquhanity since 1940 is as the focal point in Scotland for free, progressive and alternative education. The house, stables and surrounding buildings which comprise the site are surrounded by beautiful countryside making it a wonderful venue for enjoying the health and well being and creativity of Margaret Morris Movement. Please visit http://www.kilquhanity-centre.co.uk for detailed description of venue. Details of this course are available via the menu – Courses – MMM Scotland Residential