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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones Anyone watching Morris? (29) RE: Anyone watching Morris? 02 Apr 19

Cotswold, which is the backbone of the Ring, requires a lot of technique. It is difficult to do well, as the film producer discovered. To do it well requires study and practice, which is why so many of the dancers interviewed took it so seriously, and why they were concerned that women dancers would dilute the style. There is some justification for this view. The fact is that women move differently from men, which most dance forms celebrate and exploit. The morris world seems to prefer to pretend that it isn't true.

I think the bigger problem facing morris is that of declining standards. There are more sides than ever before, but I find most of them are unwatchable, especially the flood of mixed border sides which now seem to be the fashion amongst young dancers. I can see the attraction - it is noisy, there is plenty of scope for invention as the details of the tradition are so sketchy, and it doesn't appear to demand much technique so it is easy to learn. I can see that the participants are enjoying themselves hugely, but the actual dancing is often a shambles.

When morris is danced well there is nothing to beat it, and it doesn't then matter if the dancers are male or female. The problem is that despite there being more sides than ever, it is a rarity to find it danced well.

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