Mudcat Café message #2835697 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #127090   Message #2835697
Posted By: Soldier boy
10-Feb-10 - 09:46 PM
Thread Name: Mr Fox and his dancers
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
I think they are brilliant!
I like it best when it is a misty night. You hear the drumming first and then one by one they appear out of the mist in their rather dark and sinister fox costumes carrying their fire torches.

Most memorable for me has been seeing them (appear out of the mist) from the bottom of the 99 steps (that go up to the Abbey) in Whitby, then parade down the narrow old streete and finish up to do most of their show in the old market place. What a fantastic setting!

Equally memorable was the time I saw them appear (out of the mist - again!) in two lines down the old steps into the churchyard between the parish church and Compo's Cafe etc at The Holmfirth Festival of Folk. Again, a brilliant setting that worked very well for their act.

And definately - of course 'The Imbolc' festival in the Colne Valley at Marsden (near Huddersfield) which is always brilliant. This year the festival attracted more than 3500 people according to the Huddersfield Examiner newspaper on Monday, which I think is a record. Very well done indeed to Angie Boycott-garnet and all the rest of the organisers. This festival just gets better and better each year and I hope that the 'Mr Fox' team will be there to support it every year because it wouldn't be the same without you. It really wouldn't.

And guess what folks! This year it occured on a VERY misty night (they must have a phone line to God and arrange it specially) and the atmosphere was bewitching and fantastic.

They really do create a unique atmosphere that is both eerie and captivating at the same time.
The sound of the drums, the sight of the fire gymnastics and juggeling, the mystery and scareiness of the costumes and the smell of the petrol/parrafin used to fuel their torches all add to a very sensory and very memorable experience.

And as to the the posting from 'Les from Hull' saying "I agree, very impressive. But why do they pretend it's traditional?" on their website.

Come on Les, let's get real!

My response to your comment, which I believe is very misguided and has failed to appreciate the history (and therefore 'tradition') of mankind on this beautiful and unique planet is:

1): Festivals like 'Imbolc' (a Pagan tradition) going back thousands of years; (which thankfully has been supported and very much enhanced by Mr Fox), celebrate the passing of winter and the advent of spring when 'daylight' starts to get longer in the day with the prospect of new life and sustenance to enable man to survive on this planet as it begins to warm up and spring into life.
Mankind has celebrated this since the dawn of time . So I guess that you could sort of call it 'traditional'!!

2): Now Think about how men enjoy being around FIRE (actually both men and women; but for some reason I believe, that it is men that get the most stimulation and satisfaction from fire because it was most likely 'traditional' and a 'community duty' thing for men to be responsible and in charge of starting and maintaining the fire - all the way back to our 'caveman' ancestors.

In our modern day; who takes control of the bonfire and the barbeque -just think about it! - It's a very primeval and innate instinct that we men just can't let go.

So why shouldn't we as 'Mankind' celebrate 'fire'?
What enabled us in our evolution to change from being herbivores to carnivores? - it was the ability to cook meat from the beasts we had killed and it was this shift that enabled our brains and therefore our intelligence to grow dramatically.

When fire was discovered and man found that he could reproduce it by rubbing wood into wood or sparking flint against flint; don't you think that he would have jumped up with absolute joy and danced and praised the gods to celebrate the life-giving fire that would both cook their kill and sustain them and keep them warm over the cold winter months so that they could survive and prosper and grow as the dominant species on the planet .
Of course he would.

Fire, and the celebration of fire, therefore goes back probably over 100,000 years in the history of mankind. It was the discovery and the art of making fire which is why we are living on this planet today. It is the reason we have evolved so successfully.

So any talk about an act using and celebrating fire and asking if it is 'Traditional' is complete hogwash.
This is far more than an ancient tradition. It goes back far longer than anything you might call 'Traditional'.
It doesn't matter if Mr Fox have done their act and performance for 10 or 20 or 30 years because their dark and mysterious entertainment goes back countless thousands of years!

So, come on Les, I know you are an intelligent man, so can you now see the sense of it and not feel that Mr Fox are 'pretending' to be traditional? Whatever the term 'Traditional' is and means I do not believe it applies here!


P.S : Sorry I have gone off on one like this for so long but,in Mr Foxe's defence, I really felt that I had   
to step in to defend them!