watervole: (Default)
 Alex Holden was looking after bags and stuff for dancers during the procession, but it put him in an ideal position at an upstairs window to film the entire procession (there's just a couple of minutes missing where he had a camera glitch, but it's wonderful footage. Nearly every side stops and does a short dance just under the window.

See the children from the local schools, the sheer variety of colours and styles of dance.  Note the old hands, especially the Cotswold and North West dancers, who are used to processions and have processional dances that move gradually down the street, just stopping for the occasional figure when the procession slows to a halt.

Some groups, like the Welsh dancers, don't have a processional dance, and thus walk most of the procession (but may have done the odd dance or part of a dance at other points along the road).  Appalachian dancers don't do the procession, as tap shoes on tarmac really don't give the desired effect!

For me, this is a wonderful chance to see the procession that I mostly didn't actually see on the day.  I note with some amusement that the Fezheads have worked their way forward from their official position nearer the end and are now up near the start. (Look at the way they carry their carpet with them and lay it down whenever they perform)

See the Knights of King Ina (who quickly became favourites of mine).  They dress in black and white and do jigs.  A jig is a rather energetic solo (or two man) dance in the Cotswold style.  Even when they're two thirds of the way through the procession, they're still putting in a lot of energy.  I remember seeing them pass the finish line, still with energy in the leaps even after all that dancing.

See if you can spot Richard, dressed in a bright orange tatter costume passing through the audience with a collection tin. (If you think he looks like the Librarian, that's because the costume was originally made at a Discworld convention)

Right at the end, you get Whitethorn ladies morris.  I put them at the end for a good reason.  I knew I could rely on them to turn up in good numbers and dance well to give the procession a good ending rather then dribbling off into nothing.  They didn't disappoint - lovely crisp footwork, even after having spent well over an hour queueing and dancing down the road.

I'm so glad Alex took this film, I think I shall return to it when I want to remember what Wimborne 2014 was like.  This is what I spent six months hard work for, and it happened and it was good.



watervole: (Default)
 As my longsword workshop at Wimborne Minster folk Festival was a fairly small group, I decided to teach them by the instant immersion method. I had one small child, one medium child and three adults.
 
I lined them up behind me, told the musician to start playing, said "Follow me and do what I do." And started walking to lead them into a circle.
 
It worked really well. They moved into a circle, clashed together on time, put their swords on their shoulders, linked up in an over the shoulder ring, raised their swords together, put them down on the other shoulder, raised up to open out into a ring, and progressed as far as the single under before we hit any real problems. By the end of the session, they'd mastered both the single under and the lock, and a second group that had wandered in was also starting to learn the dance.
 
Instant immersion is fun, but you can only really do with a single set. There are some sword dance teams that use this method for quickly running new recruits through a dance. They threw them straight in at the deep end to give them an overall feel for the dance and then teach them the details and timing later.

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Judith Proctor

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