Once upon a time…there was an annual “Ann Arbor Medieval Festival,” a community event which featured many types of performances including plays, music, combat, and dancing. One year (1976) as the festival came to a close, the members of the Morris dance group said to one another, “We’re having too much fun to stop now – let’s do this year ’round!” And, with that utterance, Ann Arbor Morris was born. Since then we have performed traditional English Morris dances in the streets of Ann Arbor and elsewhere.
Want to catch one of our performances? We appear at the following events in a typical year:
- May Day – We dance the sun up every year without fail on May 1st. Look for us at 6:15am in Nichols Arboretum, at the overlook down the road from the Geddes Rd. entrance, rain or shine.
- Heavenly Scent Herb Farm Faerie Festival – usually the first Saturday in May (heavenlyscentherbfarm.com)
- Midwest Morris Ale – An annual gathering of 200 or so Morris dancers from all over the Midwest and beyond, held over the Memorial Day weekend. Moves around from city to city (last seen in Michigan in 2018)
- Saline Celtic Festival – OK so Morris isn’t Celtic, but the Festival is a great event and we’re thrilled to be part of it. Usually the second weekend of July (salineceltic.org)
- Dancing in the Streets – Sponsored by our parent organization AACTMAD, this free event showcases many local dance groups with performances, workshops, and open dancing. Held in the streets of downtown Ann Arbor on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We don’t always make it, but we’re there in spirit!
- Midnight Madness – This Ann Arbor tradition kicks off the holiday season downtown with roving street performers and shops open late. Usually the first Friday in December (mainstreetannarbor.org/midnight-madness)
Here is our 2018-19 performance repertoire:
Banks of the Dee
Strike the Hedgehog
Hick-Stanky (stick plus hanky)
Three Delinquent Youths (jig)
All Souls’ Night
Bordering on Twittiocy – Useless Twittington*
Traveling By Steam – Useless Twittington*
Simon’s Fancy – Bampton
* Useless Twittington dances are our own invented dances that don’t follow the dictates of a particular tradition, but incorporate whatever we felt like when composing them