Today was my very first time morris dancing in public. I went through the usual ups and downs before a performance, familiar from being in various musical things over the years.
I’m pleased to report though that despite the nerves and the rain and having to dance outside in it things went very well indeed. They were particularly helped by the presence of a large, waterproof gazebo under which the musicians were able to shelter and thus protect their melodeons and fiddles from the rain.
We only danced four dances, but the crowd received them very well and I got to be in three of them which was fantastic and also relieved me of the feeling that I might need to also join in with the music, which I suspect I might’ve fluffed up in a fairly conspicuous manner. The dance I didn’t dance is one I don’t know the tune for yet, so playing in it would not have been particularly successful.
Our new kit looks fantastic, Della (our squire) did an amazing job putting it all together and deserves much beer and praise. Unfortunately the unsatisfactory bells were neither loud enough nor well-made enough, and decided that it was good fun to come off the bell pads while we were dancing. So now we don’t have enough bells… when there’s more time to obtain them, hopefully Della will be able to get hold of some really proper bells which will last us for years.
To distract myself this morning I played a lot of music, starting on the fiddle figuring out another one of the Makeney Morris tunes (although I can’t reliably play in tune yet I’m getting closer). There’ll be a proper post about the fiddle learning at some point soon. I also played the recorder for a couple of hours, working mostly on Handel’s Sonata in F major for treble recorder which is simply fabulous and I can even almost play it.
Sometimes I even think my Grade 8 recorder was not awarded in error.