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Morris joins the Dodo?

the lemonade lady 19 Jan 09 - 09:29 AM
treewind 18 Jan 09 - 07:51 AM
Kampervan 18 Jan 09 - 07:24 AM
Kampervan 18 Jan 09 - 07:22 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 15 Jan 09 - 05:49 AM
Compton 14 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM
BB 14 Jan 09 - 03:19 PM
johnadams 14 Jan 09 - 05:55 AM
The Borchester Echo 13 Jan 09 - 06:52 PM
Ruth Archer 13 Jan 09 - 06:49 PM
melodeonplayer 13 Jan 09 - 06:41 PM
robomatic 13 Jan 09 - 10:00 AM
Morris-ey 13 Jan 09 - 09:44 AM
doncatterall 13 Jan 09 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,Neovo 13 Jan 09 - 08:20 AM
Herga Kitty 12 Jan 09 - 07:56 PM
Ian Burdon 12 Jan 09 - 05:12 PM
LesB 10 Jan 09 - 06:55 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 10 Jan 09 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Ebor_fiddler 10 Jan 09 - 05:40 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM
The Borchester Echo 10 Jan 09 - 05:19 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jan 09 - 04:52 PM
squeezebox-kc 10 Jan 09 - 12:50 PM
The Borchester Echo 10 Jan 09 - 12:17 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jan 09 - 12:06 PM
The Borchester Echo 10 Jan 09 - 11:55 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jan 09 - 11:45 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Jan 09 - 11:35 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jan 09 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 10 Jan 09 - 10:51 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jan 09 - 10:48 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Jan 09 - 09:58 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 10 Jan 09 - 09:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jan 09 - 08:45 AM
steve_harris 10 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jan 09 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 10 Jan 09 - 08:00 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Jan 09 - 05:04 AM
LesB 10 Jan 09 - 05:04 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM
Phil Edwards 10 Jan 09 - 04:48 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 10 Jan 09 - 03:10 AM
romany man 09 Jan 09 - 04:41 PM
Marje 09 Jan 09 - 01:49 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Jan 09 - 01:33 PM
Marje 09 Jan 09 - 01:26 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Jan 09 - 11:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Jan 09 - 11:42 AM
Joseph P 09 Jan 09 - 11:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 09:29 AM

you need the http:// to make it work


Sal


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: treewind
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 07:51 AM

Well...

Is it dead yet?

A.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Kampervan
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 07:24 AM

Sorry, there was supposed to be a link to

'Morris - A life with bells on'

oon that last posting.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Kampervan
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 07:22 AM

I haven't read the whole of this thread in detail, but has anyone mentioned this film?


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:49 AM

Regarding a possible Bacup-Cornwall connection: what follows is only hearsay plus speculation, but for what it's worth …

A few years ago, when his side and mine happened to be dancing at the same festival, I asked one of the Bacup dancers about the origin of their kit. He said they believed the general idea for it had come from Cornwall, by way of a Bacup man who saw someone dressed as a "Moorish Pirate" in a carnival procession down there, sometime in the 19th century.

This story might repay further investigation. There is plenty of historical evidence that during the Middle Ages (and even on into the 1500s and 1600s) Cornish fishing villages were often raided by Moorish pirates. These corsairs carried off anyone they could catch, and if their relatives couldn't afford a ransom, the captives were sold in the slave markets of North Africa.

So, it would be understandable if a "Moorish Pirate" had appeared alongside other costumed figures in a 19th century Cornish carnival procession. And if someone from Bacup had been there to see, why shouldn't they have taken the idea home with them? As yet I've seen nothing in print to support this hypothesis – but perhaps better informed catters may have. Any suggestions?

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Compton
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM

For waht it's worth, the three times I've been to Bacup and seen the dance, I am tempted to believe that it was simply some Northern Mill workers who got together and made the whole thing up and went out for Beer money...which, of course is what Morris dancing and everything was was all about!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: BB
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 03:19 PM

I seem to remember that there was a theory that the Bacup dances might have originated with Cornish miners who moved up that way to work, but unless I'm much mistaken, the dances actually originated in the Music Halls. (Haven't read the learned writings on Bacup for a while.)

I also remember that Bell's 'Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry' mentions 'sword' dancing with wooden lathes in Devon - seemed to be similar to longsword.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: johnadams
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:55 AM

There are links between Derbyshire and Cornwall because of the interchange of skills and manpower of the lead and tin mining industries. Possibly as a consequence of this there seems to be some similarities with the tunes eg. Tideswell Processional & the Floral Dance. These are, of course, processionals rather than dance traditions. Some research to be done there.

Never heard of a similar link between Bacup/Rossendale and Cornwall.


I've not read every post on this thread. Had anybody pointed out Elaine Bradtke's excellent article which appears on the Guardian web site?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/jan/07/morris-dancing-longsword


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 06:52 PM

That would be prior to the construction of the M6 / M5 . . . ?


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 06:49 PM

Unfortunately, there is no real evidence to connect Bacup to Cornwall.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: melodeonplayer
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 06:41 PM

Diane said "I am asking whether there is a dance tradition attached to Cornish tin mining"
I might be totally off the mark, but i had heard that the Bacup Coconutters have some family links to Cornish Tin Miners......
Not sure,, but worth investigation
Simon


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: robomatic
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 10:00 AM

This topic came up on the radio show "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" last week. Their no-brains solution:

1) Add rap
2) Carry bigger sticks


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Morris-ey
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 09:44 AM

Some random comments from what I (Cotswold dancer, and without false modesty, a bloody good one for 20 years until I retired) have read so far:

Morris will not die, the English tradition is danced all over the world;

The Morris Ring might well die, not least for their intransigence regarding women but also because any young dancers they recruit are immediately taught to dance like old men - I joined a well established Ring side when in London in 1979, the average age was about 55 and I was the youngest at 25. At practice, I was taken aside by the foreman and told that I was dancing too energetically and that "you cannot dance like that all day, you will be exhausted". I replied to the effect that yes I could dance like that all day but he and his pals probably could not.

Dancers should dance for their own enjoyment first, if they cannot enjoy it no one watching will;

Morris is neither old nor strange - all this talk of pagan ritual is bollocks. Cotswold is probably no older than late 18th or early 19th century.

All dances are made up - some made up earlier than others.

Location is irrelevant - enjoyment and performance is all.

There are very few people who care about "The Tradition" and those who make a big deal of it should be avoided.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: doncatterall
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 08:48 AM

Ian

I thought that rapper had died out north of the border since the demise of Clydeside - do tell me more!

Don


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 08:20 AM

Made up dances and dancing "out of location" - absolutely fine provided the proper attributions are made. eg "this is a dance we wrote in the style of" .... or "our dances come from ...."


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 07:56 PM

At least the thread has been extended to Scotland. I haven't spotted any mention yet of Perth (Aus not Scotland) Morris, Bahrein Morris, Black Joke (Mass) Morris....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:12 PM

...and I dance Rapper in Edinburgh just as Gaorsach do, brilliantly, in Aberdeen.

Re Cornwall, I have a memory of reading that there was a mummers play recorded which featured an element of sword dance. No doubt there will be someone here who can either correct my memory or elucidate further.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: LesB
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 06:55 PM

Dorset Buttons dance rapper. Not exactly next door to Newcastle is it?
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:49 PM

I don't see anything ridiculous in somebody asking whether rapper might have got down to Cornwall or Kent during the 19th century. Apparently it didn't, but nevertheless, it could have done.

In A L Rowse's book "A Cornish Childhood", he recalls that many young men left his area to work in mines as far afield as South Africa, Australia, and America, and adds that some of the lucky ones came home with enough cash to retire on. So, while the mines of Durham and Northumberland were booming in the mid-19th century, a "Cousin Jack" might have gone up north for a while, learned a sword dance there, and brought it back with him. It's unlikely, but not impossible.   

Likewise, one of the many Geordie pitmen who went looking for work down south might have ended up on the Kentish coalfield and taught some of his new marras how to dance rapper. Unliklier things than that have happened - like a sword dance turning up on Papa Stour for instance.

Asking questions that go against the grain of received opinion is often the way that new discoveries are made. If our ancestors had always been happy to accept the official wisdom of their day without challenging it, we might still be living in the stone age.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Ebor_fiddler
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:40 PM

Black Swan Rapper come from an area not particularly noted for its mining tradition(Yes I know Selby coalfield, but that, though now dead, is of recent origin). Are they any good?

(Tongue not so much in cheek, as half way down my throat. Honest!)

Love and fishes.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM

Deja vu?


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:19 PM

So, like Manuel, you "know nothing".
Why am I not surprised?


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 04:52 PM

Irrelevant, Diane. The point was "smartarse comments". Shall we have it again without those?


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: squeezebox-kc
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 12:50 PM

regarding making up dances Kirkburton Rapier had to as the old lady of 90 years old from the village in 1973 remembered the kit and the swords but not the actual dance other than that the only time the circle was broken was at the lock at the end of the dance and it was danced with blacked faces on New Years Day.
We are proud that our dances copied by other teams, it is nice if it is acknowledged( we do workshops at festivals on occasions) and exactly how long does a dance need to be performed to be traditional. As it happens this is a male side with some female musicians and a fair age spread over the team members.
no problem with female sword teams but mixed is sometimes a bit odd looking.
In the same vein Bradshaw mummers (also blacked up)write most of their plays in the idiom of the tradition usually within reason ish historically accurate but still a male tradition (who would play the betsy in a female team)but some of the plays are written by the female supporters.
at the end of the day keep the tradition alive and find a team you fit in with otherwise form one that suits you.
Ken sword & mummer (old)


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 12:17 PM

Since you live in Kent, Richard Bridge, it might have penetrated your consciousness whether anything vaguely cultural (especially dance) ever happens in the coalfield region. If not, then I see no reason why a revival rapper side couldn't be founded anyway if dancers wanted to. At DERT, there are sides from all over, just as Morris Offspring recruits Cotswold dancers countrywide. Travel and communication, in case you haven't noticed, are considerably swifter than in the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 12:06 PM

Pot, kettle.

Kettle, pot.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 11:55 AM

I have absolutely no experience of tin mining in Cornwall, nor of coal mining in Kent. Indeed at the time of the first miners' strike I thought it was a wind-up when someone said there was a pit at Betteshanger,
So if anyone actually knows what dance traditions, if any, pertain to these industries, I'd like to know, minus smartarse comments.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 11:45 AM

Diane,

I rather suspect, given your experience of such things that you know that no such traditions have been noted, am I correct?

Les


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 11:35 AM

I am asking whether there is a dance tradition attached to Cornish tin mining. Or, indeed, to Kent coal mining.
If you don't know, I suggest you stick your head down those treacle mines.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 11:11 AM

I have to say Howard that is the best and most compelling post I have read on this thread.

On issues like this their is often a tendency, which I believe has a name, to push the other argument to some kind of extreme to show its consequences. I don't think you have done that in this case but perhaps my age is catching up with me and I am actually arguing that more is worse. That doesn't have to be true but it can be.

I am all for the "Living Tradition" and have argued at some length against "Blacking up" because it is offensive and almost certainly owes more to, and I use the phrase carefully, the "Nigger Minstrel" tradition that much else, but the living tradition of Border Morris by and large wont even go green with the collection of dances and clobber that they have evolved from somewhere.

But I digress. I guess the world can never be as "old and strange" as it was and neither will the Morris.

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 10:51 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 10:48 AM

Mike,

"
And incidentally, when I last watched the authentic Headington men dancing outside the authentic Mason's Arms on one authentic Boxing Day, a few years back, they were dancing rapper! Rapper! I rest my case M'lud."

So do I

I don't think anybody has ever argued that everything might have been danced everywhere, in fact very much the opposite. And just as wines don't always travel well, I still maintain that Northwest in cobbles and terraces has much greater drama than Northwest in the Shopping Malls of Essex.

Diane you surprise me, that's all I'm saying because I think your might just be baiting people!

Les


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 09:58 AM

if people want to create Rapper sides in say Cornwall . . .

Create? Could be a genuine revival. There are, after all, tin mines.
Is there any trace of rapper in Kent?
Betteshanger Rapper has a certain ring to it . . .


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 09:52 AM

Les, you ask:

"But surely the Morris community, if it exists, cannot have it both ways. Can it be local - Border, Cotswold, Northwest, Rapper, Molly and all over the place?"

And I think the answer is "yes, it can" – for the same reason that we can be members of a global village while we're surfing the internet, and yet still reconnect with our local community when we visit the corner shop.

Of course there is something very special about seeing Headington dances performed by Headington men, in Headington – just as there is something very special about drinking Burgundy wine in the Duchy of Burgundy, or Scotch whisky in Scotland. (And long may all such activities flourish on their native soil.) But if we always had to travel to Avignon for a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape, or to Portree for a dram of Talisker, this would seriously diminish our opportunities for enjoyment.

And incidentally, when I last watched the authentic Headington men dancing outside the authentic Mason's Arms on one authentic Boxing Day, a few years back, they were dancing rapper! Rapper! I rest my case M'lud.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 08:45 AM

True enough Steve, their is a great piece of research showing how Morris traveled across Cheshire and into Lancashire from Crewe, railways being the root of travel.

But surely the Morris community, if it exists, cannot have it both ways. Can it be local - Border, Cotswold, Northwest, Rapper, Molly and all over the place?

Has Simon organised that Fluffy meets the Ring festival yet?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: steve_harris
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM

What about dances that have no direct "connection" to the places where they are now performed? Well, can we really be certain there is no connection?

Dance is the most travelled and infectious of the folk arts. It is unimpeded by language barriers. In reality, it is a mongrel. Most discussions about origins of a dance are fruitless. Is it not better to dance a Polska than try to trace it's origins?


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 08:16 AM

Fair enough Howard, I don't think most people would disagree with most of that but Rapper and Longsword are more than a bit North and North East, Northwest is pretty well Northwest and I guess Border is Border.

I will simply say again if people want to create Rapper sides in say Cornwall they can but it won't be local, it isn't a revival and it wont be "old and strange". I guess Cornwall has enough "old and strange" without using stuff from other parts of the country.

Their is often a line taken by dancers that they know something special because they dance and that academics are closed minded pedantists. In fact their very very few academics and thousands of dancers who say anything they like with almost no evidence whatsoever.

I note that no one is interested in the relationship between Men who Dance the Morris and the Fluffies of Carnival Morris. Plenty of history and evidence their!

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 08:00 AM

Morris has always evolved and reinvented itself - which is why there are so many local variants even within for example the Cotswold region. The 19th Century sides enthusiastically adopted tunes from both music hall and Minstrel shows - the pop songs of the day. They also adopted modern instruments such as melodeon and concertina, just as earlier morris musicians had adopted the fiddle instead of the pipe and tabor.

It is wrong to assume that the dances collected by Sharp and the others are the definitive versions. They are simply versions from a particular moment in time, in places where there was still an ongoing tradition, and where a collector happened to come along. Quite apart from historical records of morris in other areas, it does not seem fanciful to me to believe that morris had existed in other parts of the country, but died out before the collectors could record the dances.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:04 AM

Mike I think, again, that I agree with almost everything you say but if the justification for any revival side anywhere is that "well Morris was danced in some places so it was probably danced in lots and lots of places" is not a very convincing argument.

You said earlier "On the contrary, the surviving evidence strongly suggests that Morris dancing was imported into England sometime before 1450, probably as a metropolitan novelty."

I read this or something like it in 'The Stations of the Sun' and I think the idea that Morris escaped into the countryside and has been kept alive by small groups of people amazing and on those grounds alone worth continuing even if it was boring - which I think it almost never is. But I still come back to my personal definition of "old and strange". Some sides and some events are and many revival sides are not.

Cheers

Les
PS I am sorry I have not responded to a number of people above who have made many excellent points about why women's and mixed sides seem to be doing well - I am sure they are basically right.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: LesB
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:04 AM

In the Southport Swords we do 11 Sword dances of which 4 we have created ourselves. We don't pass them off as traditional. In fact we are proud of our dances & like to take full credit for creating them.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM

I too have no right to get sniffy about newly choreographed v traditional dance, and I'm not. However, take a side such as Morris Offspring (for whom I do not speak but have watched many times). They make up lots of dances, based loosely on traditional steps and moves but they don't pass them off as traditional. I believe (and one of them can come along and correct me if I'm wrong) that they regard what they do as a "continuing tradition". It's Cotswold, usually sans bells, and sometimes with T-shirts instead of whites. And it's very, very good.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 04:48 AM

I don't think we should be sniffy about the teams who have created new dances in what they sincerely believe to be the spirit of the tradition

I think that's the nub of the crux of the biscuit. I'm not going to go so far as to say that we should be sniffy about teams who have created new dances, etc. Apart from anything else, I personally have never danced a step, & have no right to get sniffy about anyone in this context.

But I do think that anyone who's involved in continuing actual traditions does have a right to get sniffy about people who make up things and call them traditional, or in-the-tradition, or in-what-the-tradition-would-be-if-it-had-survived-probably.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:10 AM

Hi Les,

Earlier on, I said:

"We have only fragmentary records of the dances our ancestors used to perform. Some have been preserved more or less intact, but there is good evidence for the existence of others whose details went unrecorded, and it seems reasonable to infer that many more have been entirely forgotten."

And you replied: "This is what people say when they want to believe something for which they have no evidence."

Well yes … sometimes … but in this case, I think not.

See for example, Russell Wortley & Michael Dawney, "George Butterworth's Diary of Morris Dance Hunting", Folk Music Journal, Volume 3 Number 3 (1977). GB's diary reveals his frustration at visiting quite a few villages where there had certainly been a thriving Morris side twenty years ago, but finding that no survivors of the team remained to give him details of the dances. (Though in a number of cases, he did get some tunes.) Sharp also collected a considerable number of tunes for dances which had been forgotten – some of them can be heard on the CD "Lost Morris" (Lark Rise Music, LACR8).

So, it seems clear that a lot of material was lost. How much was lost, and whether what survived was typical or exceptional, we cannot know for sure. But it would be rash to assume that what we have tells the whole story.   

Under these circumstances, I think we should be very grateful to people who have attempt to reconstruct lost dances from the remaining fragments (for example, John Kirkpatrick and the Shropshire Bedlams). And I don't think we should be sniffy about the teams who have created new dances in what they sincerely believe to be the spirit of the tradition (like Ouse Washes Molly, and many others).   

If these dances feel good, then dancers will keep on doing them. And if they look good, then punters will keep on enjoying them. If not, then they will soon fade away. Natural selection and all that - happy 200th birthday Charles Darwin!

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: romany man
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 04:41 PM

sounds like trying to learn the bloody melodeon, im sure its the devils invention but i love it only wish i could play the bloody thing better.
i cant read music let alone ballet notation, the other half understands it she says there are many forms of choriagraphic notation for many styles of dance, so i suppose morris could be writeten up. then why, its more fun seeing other peoples interpretation of the same dance,


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Marje
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 01:49 PM

Yes, Richard, I once asked a ballet dancer about this and she said there's a sort of choreographic notation that combines the musical staff with the outline of a human figure, showing the movements in relation to the tune. Or something.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 01:33 PM

I believe that there is a written form of notation for ballet.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Marje
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 01:26 PM

"How can you put dances in a written form? That's crazy!" (Joseph P)

You can do it by all sorts of methods. The method used in Bacon's Black Book is a sort of code that makes the dances read like a bit a knitting pattern - of course it doesn't convey the entire effect, but then neither does the text of a knitting pattern indicate the flow and feel of the finished garment.

What's wrong with using some sort of notation or code to note down the main points of the dance? For instance, how many dancers? How many bars after the music starts before the first step? Left or right foot to start? Which way to face? Single or double steps, and how many of them? Which way to turn? At what point do the "slows" come in? etc etc. All this will not give you the full effect of the dance but at least it's a foundation on which dancers and their teachers can begin to learn and recall new dances.

Of course, if morris, or any dance form from ballet to breakdance, was completely extinct and a future generation attempted to revive it, books wouldn't help them even to come close, they'd need (ideally) archive film/video footage to begin to get a feel for it. But that's not the case, people do know how morris looks and feels - the notation is just a way of remembering, recording and sharing the basic patterns on which the dances are built.


Marje


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:47 AM

Enter Maurice!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:42 AM

Neovo,

"Try getting hold of Pru Boswell's books on morris in the lancashire plain."

Thanks, I have it and a number of others.

Howard and the Fluffies:

"I'm not sure how it came to be called "morris" but the name is of long standing."
It was passed on via mothers, grandmothers and so on. It has changed almost out of all recognition but it evolved from Morris Dancing and they have every right to call it what they like - although quite a lot don't.

Simon:

"Les said "whether we see this activity as the preservation of an ancient tradition or simply a piece of street theatre"

I don't think I did.

Mike,

whilst I agree with much of what you have said

"Well, can we really be certain there is no connection? We have only fragmentary records of the dances our ancestors used to perform. Some have been preserved more or less intact, but there is good evidence for the existence of others whose details went unrecorded, and it seems reasonable to infer that many more have been entirely forgotten."

This is what people say when they want to believe something for which they have no evidence.

If you want to make up dances I think you have to embrace the Fluffies because they are part of a tradition that is at least as reputable as most "revival" sides of men.

Is Simon Care off organising a Fluffy Festival?

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Joseph P
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:24 AM

"then shift around because one doesn't know how to do the dance from that spot..."

That really annoys me. It often happens in my team, with people liking certain positions in the set. Not learning them all is just lazy, its not difficult!

How can you put dances into written form? Thats just crazy.


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