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

 

 

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