Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finsbury Town Hall ceilidh

It was the official opening of Finsbury Town Hall as a dance venue.
Jeremy's been involved with it, and asked us to come and help with the inauguration.

We also danced around Jane Pfaff's maypole, and joined in with the general dancing.

There were a lot more people there than in the photo, which is Noah and Ezra sorting out the Maypole before everyone arrived.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dancing for the BBC in Portland Place

We were asked to come and teach people some morris dancing for the BBC.
The programme was about the madness of the licensing law, which means that pubs need a special license when there's music being performed there.
Or if pubgoers have a sing-song.
Though not for them to be shouting all evening watching football.
It's part of a series about nutty laws under Labour.

Anyhow, it turns out the premise of the programme was that a pub in London used to have a sing song and what loophole could they use to get round the law.
They could get away with it if the pub was on wheels, or if they were all carrying placards.

Or, if they were Morris dancing. Morris dancers are exempt.

So, we all came in and danced a dance (wonderful place to dance, I wish I'd had my camera), and tried to teach them to do some.
Which would have been alright, but they wanted us to dance to sing-a-long songs. Knees up mother Brown, A long road to Tipperary etc.

We tried, but I think the exercise showed that it didn't work.

33 Portland Place is a great place. it felt somewhat surreal. It's like a stately home that's been used for raves and such like.

You can sign an online pertition about the licensing law here

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Humbug! Scrooge in South London

For the next week and a bit, Peter J can be seen dancing on stage, nightly, in the South London Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol.

We're talking chocolate box production, a cast of thousands, and fabulous costumes - including the jingling jacket knocked up by wardrobe. The director thought plain whites would be too pristine and we needed some green to go with the production.

I asked for a tattered jacket, and got what you see - a shirt with bells on. It's murder trying to put it on and take it off quietly, backstage. I'll bring it on tour next year perhaps!

Many thanks to the excellent James Denny of Thames Valley Morris Men, who plays a variety of squeezeboxes throughout the production, and persuaded the director to put the dance into the show.

There are more photos here.

This was a dress rehearsal. Before anyone asks, for the actual shows, I have been wearing white socks!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

AGM and Feast at the Prince Albert in Battersea

A lovely afternoon and evening in the upstairs room at the Prince Albert, just opposite the park gates.

We had our AGM, checking what sort of things to do next year, reviewing this ones, resolving to do the things we'd forgotten since last year's AGM, worked out the holes in the bagman's (my) reckoning etc...

...and then danced for the afternoon. I love the surrealness of dressing in kit for our AGM and dancing for ourselves.

We formally gave Ezra his baldrick, then feasted for the evening, with toasts to absent friends, the Queen, and the immortal memory of Cecil Sharpe; and singing till late.

Many thanks to Michael Runge for finding and arranging the pub.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Teaching the TES

"It is as if someone has snipped off the coner of a peaceful Cotsworld village green and dropped it down in this heart of city darkness," says Times Educations Supplement Journalist Stephen Jones.

We taught him some Morris one evening, and he wrote up his experience of in today's paper. Part of the story is here.

Here's a scan of the whole article - with Antony's "gimlet eye", and Ezra's skills coming in for special mention.