Mudcat Café message #2533555 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117529   Message #2533555
Posted By: Tradsinger
06-Jan-09 - 06:53 PM
Thread Name: Morris joins the Dodo?
Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
Some interesting points raised here. One important point is that while Border Morris seems to be on the up, Cotswold Morris seems to be on a downward spiral, and this is the worry.

The team I dance with, the Gloucestershire Morris Men, is perhaps typical of many Cotswold Morris sides. We love our dancing and the companionship that goes with it. We are also quite proud of how we dance (check out Gloucestershire Morris Men on YouTube) but we are very conscious of the fact that we are an ageing population and that it is difficult for an team whose average age is over 50 to attract 20 year-olds. So in our case, unless something is done, the team will disband within a few years, which we would consider a great shame as we have a lot of knowledge, expertise, style and skill to pass on, especially of traditional Gloucestershire dances.

So we are trying to do something about it. We are aimng to set up some sort of younger side and so we are running various workshops, including one at the Cheltenham Folk Festival. Our policy on the gender issue is that anyone is welcome to come to the workshops, and if this leads on to the formation of a young side and the corporate wish of that side is to be mixed, then so be it. Those males who want to can still join the Gloucestershire Morris Men and females who are looking to join another side could join one of the excellent women's sides in the area. Or they could stay in the hypothetical mixed side.

We know well the merits of Morris as, when we dance abroad, we go down very well because the audiences there judge it on its merits, not through the haze of our hostile English media, and yes, they find it exciting and vigorous, so we must be doing something right.

So we hope that this recent media coverage is not just a short-lived opportunity for the media to take the piss but will lead on to some real appreciation of Morris. But the Morris world must present itself properly to the media, i.e. aim off the fact that we are getting older and greyer and emphasise the vigour and excitement of the morris with younger dancers.

Morris in the Olympic opening ceremony? - absolutely, but not ageing grey-haired men (like me!) but young fit energetic dancers - male and female.

I rest my case.

And Maurice Linklater is an absolute plonker.

Tradsinger