The Story of the Dancer is a unique blend of Morris dancing, music and storytelling written by AVMM musician Donald McCombie. It’s a fictitious tale based on a factual 1st World War event – the Christmas truce that took place in December, 1914. The story is dedicated to those who died and in that context, it recalls the fact that many Morris dancers perished and this nearly led to the end of the tradition. Most of the village of Adderbury Morris side (pictured in 1908) joined the armed forces and only one – Charlie Coleman – returned to the village in 1918 and so that side never danced again.
The story focuses on how singing briefly stopped a war and united soldiers from both sides in a shared vision of peace. It is also about a love of Morris dancing and the final part of the story describes the revival of the tradition by a new generation of young dancers in the 1970s.
AVMM performed the Story at St Peter and St Paul, the Parish Church of Deddington on Friday evening 10 November with contributions at the start and conclusion by the Deddington Parish Church Choir. The AVMM side of six dancers, two musicians and Charlie our hobby horse were supported by the Choir and a large, appreciative audience. Voluntary donations in aid of church funds were made over refreshments at the end of the performance.