Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,
Steven
unzeugmatic

Abram's Circle for a Wedding

On Sunday afternoon I attended the wedding of a young Morris dancer of my acquaintance. His parents were once Morris dancers as well, and are still key members of the local community. I was flattered to be invited. It was a pleasant (if hot) afternoon. The ceremony was outdoors, after which we went inside to the air-conditioned reception.

There was no actual Morris at the wedding, as there sometimes is in such circumstances, but after the meal and before the groom's father's Danish folk dance band took the stage all the Morris dancers gathered to dance Abram's Circle around the bride and groom, accompanied by Shannon. There were, oh, about thirty dancers? The groom's parents (who probably hadn't danced Abram's in years) were part of the circle. There was no teaching or calling, we just danced. Abram's Circle is in the repertoire of nearly all the midwest Morris dance sides, and it is the most frequently danced massed dance at Ales and on Mayday. In the Twin Cities, at least, it is a given that if you dance Morris you know Abram's. It's not that complicated of a dance.

And so it was not particularly notable that we danced Abram's for Steffen and Jennifer. It was, in fact, the most natural and expected thing in the world. It is this very lack of exception that makes me misty with sentiment. I love that I live in a world where people know what dances to do, without self-consciousness or performance. I don't think anybody questioned this at all. Word spread that we were doing Abram's, people gathered napkins from the tables to use as hankies, and we blocked up into our circle.

If you have to point and say "Look, look! Look at what we are doing here!" then it's not deep enough in your bones. But we did not have to do that. And you know, this is the sort of thing that makes me think that saying we are a Morris community is not lip service to sentiment.
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