Margaret

Morris

1891. Margaret Morris was born in Kensington, London.

1894. She began reciting professionally in French and later in English, at parties, smoking concerts and court drawing rooms.

1899. First stage engagement in pantomime - 'Little Red Riding Hood' at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, playing First Fairy 'Twinkle Star' with solo dances and recitations before a front drop.

1900. Joined the Ben Greet Shakespearian Company and played 'Puck' in 'Midsummer Nights Dream' in the Botanic Gardens, London. She remained with the company for three years, acting and dancing.

1903. Played child parts in Drury Lane melodramas and in 'The Water Babies ' at The Garrick Theatre. Between tours she studied dancing with John D'Auban, ballet master at Drury Lane. Started composing dances of her own and at the age of twelve reacted against the limitation of the Italian classical ballet technique. At this point she began creating more natural exercises but realised that a basic training was necessary

1907. Joined the Benson Shakespearian Company as 'Ingenue Principal Dancer' and understudy to Lady Benson.

1909. Met Raymond Duncan, brother of Isadora, who taught her the Greek positions he had collected, and which she incorporated in the technique she was evolving for creative dances.

1910. First big ballets staged for Marie Brema's production of Gluck's 'Orpheus' at the Savoy Theatre, London. She trained the dancers in her new technique for a month before rehearsals. She also designed the costumes and decor. The Daily express said "...The triumph of the production is Miss Morris's "Dance of the Furies", nothing like it has ever been seen on the London stage". Played Water in "The Blue Bird" by Maeterlinck at the Haymarket Theatre and produced the dances for Sir Herbert Tree's production of "Henry VIII" Started her own School of Dancing in St. Martin's Lane with the help of John and Ada Galsworthy, (THE BEGINNING OF MMM) and toured with her own company, called "Margaret Morris and her Dancing Children"

1911. Choreographer and principal dancer for 'The Little Dream' - at Miss Horniman's Theatre, Manchester - A fantasy by John Galsworthy. Created dancing scenery for the Rutland Boughton's Opera ' The Birth of Arthur' at The Wintergardens, Bournemouth..

1912. Created the part of Guinevere Megan in 'The Pigeon' by John Galsworthy at The Royal Theatre, acting with Gladys Cooper and Dennis Eadie. Margaret also had a season at The Royal Court Theatre, London with ballets including 'Callisto' by Maurice Hewlett and 'The Little dreams' by John Galsworthy, being cclaimed by the press as the first woman 'actor, manager' and the youngest, being only 21; Royal Court Theatre season. She started the first small theatre in Chelsea, London - giving 'Christmas Seasons for Children' performed by children, including Angela and Hermione Baddeley and Phyllis Calvert. She took a troupe to Paris to dance at the Marigny Theatre on the Champs Elysees and Met J D Fergusson, with whom she studied painting and who later became her husband and Art Director of all her MMM Schools. Painting and design became an integral part of the students curriculum which already included acting, dance composition and improvisation, normal educational subjects and her system of Dance Notation.

1914. The start of the 'The Margaret Morris Club' Flood St, Chelsea for productions of original work and free discussion.

1915. Produced at her theatre an interpretation of Beethoven's 7th Symphony, costumes designed by J D Fergusson and subsequently performed with full orchestra at The Winter Gardens, Bournemouth and Harrogate.

1917. First Summer School at Devon which has since been held annually to the present date except for the war years.

1922. Started the first 'Educational School' in England to combine normal educational subjects with educational training in dancing and acting.

1925. Gradually became interested in the remedial aspects of movement and gave her first lecture demonstration to doctors in London on the remedial possibilities of MMM.

1926. Gave lecture demonstrations to doctors and midwives in Paris and classes in several hospitals for convalescents and children with disabilities. As a result of these lectures the Heritage Craft school, Chailey, asked for am MMM resident teacher, this work continued for 25 years, until the arrival of the National Health Service. Dr Rollier, who ran TB clinics at Leysin, Switzerland saw the work at Chailey and engaged MMM resident teachers for his patients. This work continued for over 15 years. During this period short tours with the company continued and demonstrations in schools resulting in demands for teachers for both girls and boys.

1930. Margaret trained at St Thomas's hospital in Physiotherapy and passed with distinction.

1931. MMM was chosen to represent Britain at the Dance Festival in Florence, receiving third prize.

1931-1938. MMM training headquarters started in Paris, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Aberdeen

1937. Became a founder member of National Advisory Council of Physical Training and recreation as a result of concentration on courses on Physical training for men and woman.

1939. Her teachers developed centres in USA, Australia, Belgium, Cuba, CanadaFrance, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland and the West Indies. Margaret had written books on; Dancing, Notation of Movement, Skiing Exercises, Maternity and Post Operative Exercises and Basic Physical training, before war closed down all HQ centres except for Glasgow.

1940. Formed the Celtic Ballet Club and produced several big ballets for war charities.

1947. Formed a professional company - Celtic Ballet of Scotland and toured in Glasgow and France, culminatinating in 1951 with Celtic Ballet Season, Theatre Royal Glasgow.

1951. Re-opened the London School with teacher training and hospital work.

1954. Celtic Ballet season in USA at Ted Shawn's Jacobs Pillow dance festival and tour.

1958/9. Celtic Ballet perform at festivals in Russia, Austria and Czechoslovakia

1960. Formed Scottish National ballet and appeared at the festival Theatre, Pitlochry

1961. Toured Howard and Wyndham's No 1 Theatres in Scotland and England. Margaret closed the Glasgow & London School after the death of her husband, JD Fergusson. MMM teacher training continued at Intensive courses held at the Annual Summer School, and at other special courses throughout the year

1967. 'My Galsworthy Story' by Margaret Morris was published by Peter Owen

1969. 'My Life in Movement' by Margaret was published by Peter Owen

1972. 'Creation in Dance and Life' by Margaret was published by Peter Owen
Aged 81, Margaret was asked to train the dancers in the hit musical 'Hair' at the Metropole Theatre Glasgow

1973. 'Margaret Morris Movement' film made by Scottish Arts Council

1974. 'The Art of J D Fergusson' by Margaret Morris published by Blackie and Son Ltd.

1980. Margaret Morris died in Glasgow on 29th February aged 89



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