Mudcat Café message #2537086 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117529   Message #2537086
Posted By: GUEST,Howard Jones
10-Jan-09 - 10:51 AM
Thread Name: Morris joins the Dodo?
Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
I'd have said that rapper is "old and strange" whether it's danced in the North East or elsewhere.

The simple fact is that we have just a handful of sides who are part of an ongoing tradition. We're lucky to still have them, and they're undoubtedly something special, but left to them alone morris would barely exist, and may well have died out completely by now. It was the morris revival of the 20th Century which revitalised morris, and without it who knows whether the traditional sides would have been able to sustain themselves into the 21st Century?

A revival side is a revival side, and it makes no difference whether it happens to be in an area which once had a recorded morris tradition or not. They are invariably starting something new, whether they are taking known styles from other places, or cobbling together a re-interpretation of their own area's former tradition from whatever scraps they can find.

Morris is undoubtedly "strange". If you insist on it being "old" as well you're refusing to allow any development of the tradition, instead it must be preserved in aspic at a particular (and fairly random) point in time.

Morris today is not what it was 50 or 100 years ago. But the morris of 100 years ago was not what it had been 100 years before that. This is what a living tradition means - it develops and changes, ebbs and flows. You may not like some of the changes, but without them the morris would surely die.