Join us for a Virtual Morris Workshop Weekend!
Please REGISTER to attend. Registration will close at 11:59 pm CST on Thursday, Feb. 4.
This event will take place over Zoom. Some things on the schedule overlap, so we will be using Breakout Rooms to host multiple sessions. After you register, please make sure you have installed the newest upgrade of Zoom.
The Workshop Weekend is FREE. See you there!
Friday February 5, 2021
Central Standard Time
|8 pm — ??||
Back Porch Social Hour
Come say hello, catch up with friends near and far. Special activities and guests TBA.
Hosted by Bruce Sagan
Saturday February 6, 2021
Central Standard Time
🔴 indicates that this Zoom session will be recorded
|10 – 11 am||
Modern Molly: Adapting pop songs for the Folk Tradition
Singing / Performance Workshop
|11:30 am – 12:30 pm||
Mummers History in New England 🔴
Lunch and Learn
|12:30 pm – 1:30 pm||Ice Cream Social with Steven Levine|
|1:30 pm – 2:30 pm||
Making The Handkerchiefs Dance
Cotswold Morris Workshop
|3 pm – 4 pm||
Music to Inspire Dancing
Morris Musician’s Workshop
|5 pm – 6 pm||
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Morris dancing and queer culture 🔴
|6 pm – 7 pm||
The Pub – social hour
|8 pm – ??||
Hosted by Dawn Berg
Led by Temple Blackwood (dancing) and Amy Letson (music)
Adapting Pop Songs for Molly Dancing
Do you ever hear a song on the radio and think, “That would make a great Molly dance?” In this workshop, Corey invites you to come along with her and her process from that moment, through arranging the music for dance, and choreographing a Molly dance.
Lunch and Learn: History of Mumming in New England
Mummers plays have been performed during the winter season for centuries and the tradition of mumming from door to door in the US dates back to the earliest English colonies. We will discuss the history of mumming in New England, and further afield, going back to the earliest police records as primary source material. Learn about the colonial informants who were trained to sniff out any evidence of Yuletide frivolity, and bits of mummer’s plays that survived as oral tradition in the Appalachian mountains.
Like the Morris, mumming in the United States is related to mumming in the UK, yet it has developed in its own unique way. Claudia will include anecdotes about our own experience as mummers, and what the tradition means to us.
Making the Handkerchiefs Dance
This workshop explores the function of handkerchiefs in Morris Dancing. We will explore how our bodies interact with handkerchiefs, dynamics of different movements, and how the size and construction of our handkerchiefs impacts dance. We may also explore modifying and transforming movements to make better sense in transitions between figures. Please bring your own handkerchiefs and be ready to dance.
Music to Inspire Dancing
Calling all Morris Musicians! A Morris dance is a conversation between the music and the dancers. Music propels the dance, but in order to do so you can’t just play a tune, you have to create the character of the dance. In this workshop we will take a closer look at Step and Fetch Her (Bampton), Lads a Bunchum (Sherborne), and Dearest Dicky (Fieldtown), examining (1) how the “character” of the tune fits the characteristic stepping in a given tradition (which differs from tradition to tradition) (2) how paying attention to the tune’s inherent musical shape also helps the dancers shape THEIR 8-bar dancing phrases, and (3) how we as musicians can make these things more clear in our playing.
Be prepared to play these tunes. Link to sheet music coming soon.
Panel discussion on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Sexual Orientation and Morris Dancing
This is the second panel discussion in the Midwest Morris Ale’s series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Here we will explore the topic of sexual orientation in the Morris community, and the relationship between queer culture, inclusivity, and Morris dancing.
Meet some of your friends in the Pub to hang out, chat, sing, tell jokes, socialize, etc. Who knows what will happen in The Pub! A Trusty Virtual Guide (or two) will be there to help keep things rolling.
Ice Cream Social
Serve yourself your favorite treat and socialize with us.
Bring your handkerchiefs and be ready to dance!
We are also seeking volunteer musicians to play for pickup dancing — please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Come ready to sing some of your favorite pub songs.
Workshop Instructor Bios
Corey O’Sullivan-Bauser (she/her)
Corey has been dancing with Ann Arbor Morris for 25 years. She is a founding member of The Quality Molly, as well as a vocalist for their Molly performances. In her non-Morris life, Corey is a professional seamstress with a sharp eye for color. She channels her artistic energy and ghoul aesthetic into glam makeup palettes and custom doll clothes for Monster High dolls. She also makes custom clothing for full-sized people.
Claudia Chapman is an artist, writer, and the author of The Winter Book • Stories, Chants and Songs for the Yuletide Season. She was the art director for World Music Press, a publisher of multi-cultural music materials for educators. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a neighborhood where everybody’s grandparents were immigrants. Her grandparents cherished the customs they brought with them from England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Semi-retired now, Claudia is still very active in the arts. In 2017 she was the artist-in-residence at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico where she lived for two months in a little stone cabin at the base of the cliff dwellings.
Claudia was the squire of Hat City Morris, a mixed Cotswold Morris side whose members’ ages spanned six decades. They dance traditional Cotswold and also have written several original dances — including Pilgrim’s Progress, Celtic Knot, and Easter Morning. Hat City has been celebrating the Winter Solstice outdoors for 25 years with a bonfire, horn dance, a candle dance from Brittany, various original readings, and their own mummer’s play. In 2011, Claudia presented at the very first International Mummer’s Unconvention about mumming in the United States, and she also presented in 2012 and 2021.
Ed Stern (he/him)
Ed started dancing Morris in Chicago. In 1974, he founded the Minnesota Traditional Morris team in the Twin Cities, and was Foreman until 2008. Ed is a foundational pillar of the Midwest Morris and Folk Communities. We are so honored to have him teach for us.
John Dexter (he/him)
John Dexter, though a conservatory trained professional musician, really and equally loves his OTHER life as a Morris dancer and musician. As violist with the Manhattan String Quartet from 1979-2019, he travelled the world playing concerts in beautiful places. Having retired from that job, he now can enjoy full-time and without the previous and endless calendrical hindrances the equally interesting world of local places, springing on the often unsuspecting audiences the arcane art of the Morris.
After acquiring a beautiful Jeffries 38-button C-G Anglo concertina, he manages to play a few tunes well but, because he doesn’t practice it enough, still basically sucks at it – or so it feels like. So, it’s the fiddle most of the time.
In the late 1960s, he was a member of the Village Morris Men in NYC, founded the Binghamton Morris Men in 1973 and, when 5 of them moved to NYC in 1979, founded the Bouwerie Boys Morris dancers who specialize in the Sherborne tradition. In 1976, he founded the American Travelling Morrice along with Roger Cartwright. All 3 groups are still vibrant today.
PANELIST: Edwina Cooper (she/her)
Edwina dances with River Rats Border Morris and the Capering Roister (St. Louis). You can find her writing esoteric fiction, learning to cook, and doing origami when not partaking in the Morris. Her Morris journey and queer journey are closely intertwined, and she is just as excited to listen and learn on this panel as she is to share.
PANELIST: Ruth Temple
Bio coming soon!
PANELIST: Sam Kleinman (he/him)
Sam is a founding member of the distributed, precision-focused, queer-majority team Braintrust Morris. Prior to that he danced with Capering Roisters, River Rats Morris, Renegade Morris (Philadelphia area), Maple Morris (distributed), and currently the Bouwerie Boys Morris Dancers (New York City). He is an active shape note singer when there isn’t a pandemic. Currently he is using up 1 kilo of yarn to knit a variety of items, and also writing. The Morris community is important to him and he’s excited to explore Morris Dancing and sexuality in this panel.
PANELIST: Steven Levine (he/him)
Steven currently dances with Ramsey’s Braggarts Morris Men (Twin Cities) and sings/plays for Great Northern Border Morris (Twin Cities). Previously he was an apprentice with the Moonwood Morris (defunct). When not partaking in the Morris, he is an avid pub and shape note singer, and collects cultural detritus of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. He is looking forward to recounting his historical and current perspectives of being out in the Morris community.
MODERATOR: Tango Lothrop (he/him)
Tango is the current Squire and musician for Brackleberry Morris (Twin Cities). You can find him cooking, playing video games, and sewing when not partaking in the Morris, and he’s thrilled to be moderating this panel and to be a part of the larger DEI conversation.