It’s been 6 1/2 years, amazingly, since the demise of Salt Springs Morris, and since that time there’s been no Cotswold morris teams in the Syracuse area that take male dancers. Well, there’s GCM. But I’ve never succeeded in recruiting new dancers to that team.
The past few years I’ve thought maybe a seasonal team could work — one that meets just a few times in the late winter and spring, dances out one or two or three times in late spring, and then packs it in for a year. Kind of the way the Old Dead Guys did it, and kind of the way some other modern teams do it, by design or by default. That’d have a minimum impact on members’ schedules, allowing them to take part without sacrificing another night of the week year round. This year I finally got enough interest and enough favorable circumstances to start such a thing up. We had an organizational meeting last week (I attended by phone, being sick) and our first practice tonight.
We’ve decided to do Ilmington. Fred Henson danced Ilmington with MTM some years ago and offered to teach it. Kate Henson danced Ilmington, too, with Bells of the North, but they did it differently. There are numerous versions of Ilmington around, with different levels of complexity, but the MTM version has enough unique features to be interesting while being uncomplicated enough to learn quickly — or at least we hope so.
Besides Fred and Kate, tonight we had Tamara Breed, Tanner Breed-Wrisley, Rebecca Jordan, Tom Keays, and me. At last week’s meeting we also had Rachel Lamb and Nancy McCracken, and Ann Horan, Maria Hosmer-Briggs, and Nanci Trapani have expressed interest. Indeed Rachel was supposed to let us in to our practice location at the Montessori School tonight, but she wasn’t able to make it and we fell back on our alternate location at the New School. Fred taught us most of “Cuckoo’s Nest” and it went pretty well.
The team doesn’t officially have a name yet, though I started tagging emails on the subject with “[Syracuse Sporadic Cotswold Morris]” and people have taken to calling it “Sporadic Morris”.
The plan is for us to do a dance or two on May Day morning at the water tower, maybe some more during the day on May Day, and maybe one or two other danceouts… actually that’s more of a plan than really exists. We’ll see how it goes.