What are they saying about MMM Summer School?

MMM held it’s annual weeklong dance Summer School in the fine premises of the University of Chichester. This year it was possible to award several bursaries for selected teachers to attend, with the aim of forwarding their continuing professional development as well as profiting from their experiences. Additionally, it was also possible to award bursaries for students, providing an otherwise rare opportunity to enjoy and benefit from the variety of classes and attendees in an international environment.

Here are some of the comments from a few of the recipients of these bursaries:

dancing on the lawn

dancing on the lawn

I love the fact that there is so much history to Margaret Morris and that there is always information available on campus to see, and people to talk to about the history with people who are in fact PART of that history.

En effet, la summer school m’a servis à parfaire ma formation. Enseignante en France, je n’ai personne pour me donner des cours et qui n’avance pas, recule.

Beautiful moments, great experiences in a lovely and familiar atmosphere! I really want to come next year and meet you all again.

....and baby came too

….and baby came too

 

I have gained so much from this year’s summer school, in particular I have picked up on many improvements for my technique thanks to the brilliant teachers. My plan for MMM in the future is to teach all ages and to contribute to keeping the movement thriving.

My project is to continue my studies in psychomotricity and do the therapy exam.. maybe open a MMM course in Italy!

I feel stronger than before. This experience brought me one step closer to myself and happiness.

In the MMM (Margaret Morris Movement) book the description of this movement is: Recreational, Athletic, Creative, Therapeutic. I clearly felt all these aspects in the extreme.

La Planete des Singes - choreography by Evelyne Elbaz

La Planete des Singes – choreography by Evelyne Elbaz

… watching Tricannon (a dance form created by one of Margaret’s students) and partaking in Chant Hindu really gave an understanding of dance as an art, demonstrating Margaret’s influences and scope, and giving the opportunity to experience first-hand the dances and costume (for Chant Hindu).

So my plan is… To start work ASAP on Health Play qualification… To get my Basic Teachers Exam eventually… I feel I would like to assist those, just like me, with an urge to dance and move about and improve their health.

To meet others and discover the variety of people each with their own connection and share in that experience is one of the many reasons this dance movement is so special; I know from the week that I am not alone in my feeling of MMM as an extended family.

Leaving - choreography by Jan Houselander

Leaving – choreography by Jan Houselander

By the week’s end, I felt a greater determination, connection and purpose despite going our separate ways. … This week has given me a confidence I hope to share with the wider world and show people the uniqueness of MMM.

MMM were delighted to once again be able to hold their International Summer School (2015) in the University of Chichester. The campus has numerous dance spaces for classes and two performance studios for the end of week show, making it the ideal location.

SOUTH OF NO NORTH

Curated by Ben Harman, Director, Stills: Centre for Photography, Edinburgh

SOUTH OF NO NORTH, an exhibition of new and existing works which reflect varying approaches to art as performance, or performance as art.

Contemporary works by Scotland-based artists, Ruth Barker, Alan Currall, Romany Dear and Anthony Schrag, who each use their own bodies in their work, are exhibited alongside early 20th century photographs by Fred Daniels, depicting the pioneering choreography of Margaret Morris, founder of the eponymous Margaret Morris Movement. Against the backdrop of these photographic images of movement, the exhibition explores some current approaches to the use of the human body within performance-based artistic practice.

Free-spirited Margaret Morris Dancers

Free-spirited Margaret Morris Dancers

info@siobhandavies.com / 020 7091 9650 

EVENTS:

Exhibition: 18 September–29 November 2015

Ben Harman in conversation: Friday 2 October, 7pm

Live performances by Ruth Barker and Romany Dear & film screenings: Saturday 3 October, 7pm

Exhibition tour with Ben Harman: Thursday 29 October, 2pm–3pm

Siobhan Davies Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios
85 St George’s Road London SE1 6ER
Reception: 020 7091 9650 Direct: 020 7091 9663

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

JD Ferguson

Although we wear more clothes now, we still share the love of dance, art and creativity that JD Ferguson immortalised in his paintings.

Although we wear more clothes now, we still share the love of dance, art and creativity that JD Ferguson immortalised in his paintings.

Ann Flower and myself were able to get to the J D Ferguson exhibition at the Modern Art Gallery 2 in Edinburgh and we both felt a special connection to his work due to our life with MMM dance and Margaret Morris. I can see why he has gone down in history as a recognised special unique artist. His work is vibrant, bold, full of character and, in later work, obviously influenced by Margaret and Movement.

Take advantage of his work coming to Chichester while the MMM Dance Summer School is on at, Chichester University 26 July – 2 August 2014.

Details on Margaret Morris Movement website: http://www.margaretmorrismovement.com

Jan Houselander

One Tears Apart

I found this popular piece of film extract whilst trawling through You Tube, under:

  • One Tears Apart (Landlord)
  • Baby Sleep – Lisbonne
  • Looks Very Jolly, Doesn’t It? (1921)
but this one this one is my favourite. Now MMM can add ‘Guest Appearance in Music Video’ to their list of achievements. Albeit a great achievement, I can’t help thinking that  our film contribution to the world of music could do with a little (lot) of updating. Fashion and trends change fast, and I am thinking maybe recreate the dance in the style of Beyoncé

Please note that this video uses footage from the BFI Creative Archive website. The BFI should be credited as following: “Original footage courtesy of the British Film Institute (BFI) under the terms of the Creative Archive Licence.” Thank you.