Sunday, February 8, 2009

All Work and No Play... as if I would let that happen.

A couple weeks ago I was shipped off to the UK on business. Knowing that I was going to be staying in the town of Chippenham, I figured I would check if there might be a local Morris side that was dancing out during my stay. A quick Google search took me to the site of the Chippenham Town Morris Men. There I found that, on the day that I would arrive, they would be dancing out at The Mermaid Inn in nearby Christian-Malford. (How lucky is that?) A few clicks and some friendly emails later and it was arranged that I would be picked up by one of their members (thanks again Richard) to not only watch, but also dance with them.

The Chippenham Town Morris Men consist of a couple of dozen very friendly and welcoming dancers and musicians. They dance in the Cotswold tradition, which is fortunate for me, since it meant that I knew some of their dances. You can see a couple of videos of them dancing outside of The Mermaid here and here. The former being "Young Collins" and the latter being "Vandals of Hammerwich". The dancer that is not 'in kit' is yours truly.

Later that week I joined them at their practice (literally around the corner from the hotel where I was staying). There I captured, on video, a stick dance that the Chippenham side had learned from a Spanish folk dancing team. The folks on our local Breathless in Berthoud Border Morris side found these videos very interesting. Hmmm, I wonder when I'll be seeing (and practicing) that dance.

One last thing: the sweater that I'm wearing in the above Vandals video was knitted by Linda, one of the Maroon Bells dancers. She recreated it from an existing sweater of mine that was starting to fall apart from age and excessive use.

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