I did sit down to write a long and rambling description of the Morris Federation AGM weekend hosted by Ryknild Rabble at the end of September, but when it comes down to it, there are only two points: Firstly, Ryknild *really* know how to put on a weekend! They hired the Belvedere Club and sweet-talked the members into allowing a bunch of morris dancers to take it over, complete with a superb dance hall for Peeping Tom's Ceilidh on the Saturday night, and a collection of walking tours around Burton and Lichfield.
The second thing which impressed me was Isis. I'd not seen them before and there were five of them, including their musicians. As a woman morris dancer, I've fantasised about kit as much as anyone else, but Isis really have a fabulous kit: Long-sleeved black lacy under-thingies with sleeveless velvet knee-length dresses in deep and different colours, black tights and black boleros with the Isis eye embroidered on their back. That's impressive enough but then you see their dancing ... they did getting on for ten dances and every one was different: there was a clog dance, a soft shoe dance, a hard shoe dance, an Appalachian dance - each one notably different from the last and exceedingly well performed. And quite the most elegant rendition of Sheepskins I've ever seen, using miniature storm lamps as markers. And if any of you can keep 4/4 time using three percussive instruments you while you're dancing and not lose the beat, I wanna see it!
The AGM itself at 1 hour 15 minutes must be one of the shortest on record. There were two motions, both referring to the Standing Orders (minutes will be circulated in the Winter newsletter), and fortunately they were both passed with minimal discussion, thanks to the hour and a half we spent poring over Rhian and Jethro's wording at our committee meeting back in July in Bristol. We say goodbye and thanks to Jethro for three years' hard effort as Events Officer and hi to Nicola Boault of Mortimer's Morris in Nottingham. She obviously got the bug after organising the AGM last year.
Huge thanks to Adrienne Moss and the rest of the Rabble for working so hard, as well as everyone else who went along to make it the event it was. It's always great to see good dancers dancing hard and well and having fun. And despite our not having the "MF AGM Hosts" badges ready, I think it all went smoothly.
Next year, it's being run by A Consortium of Individual Members headed by Kevin Taylor in Surrey on 30th September 2001. If you'd like to be a part of it, contact Kevin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see y'all there.
©2000 Fee Lock, Simon Pipe, Mark Rogers