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Morris joins the Dodo?

romany man 06 Jan 09 - 05:28 AM
pavane 06 Jan 09 - 05:33 AM
Liz the Squeak 06 Jan 09 - 06:06 AM
Jess A 06 Jan 09 - 06:53 AM
Bryn Pugh 06 Jan 09 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 06 Jan 09 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,dillie 06 Jan 09 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,banksie 06 Jan 09 - 10:04 AM
Jess A 06 Jan 09 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Musket 06 Jan 09 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 06 Jan 09 - 11:47 AM
GUEST, topsie 06 Jan 09 - 01:17 PM
Ruth Archer 06 Jan 09 - 01:38 PM
steve_harris 06 Jan 09 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Roger Kennington 06 Jan 09 - 04:36 PM
The Borchester Echo 06 Jan 09 - 04:40 PM
The Sandman 06 Jan 09 - 05:11 PM
The Sandman 06 Jan 09 - 05:15 PM
Bernard 06 Jan 09 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 06 Jan 09 - 06:10 PM
Ian Burdon 06 Jan 09 - 06:37 PM
Tradsinger 06 Jan 09 - 06:53 PM
Tradsinger 06 Jan 09 - 06:55 PM
romany man 07 Jan 09 - 05:31 AM
Ruth Archer 07 Jan 09 - 06:27 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 07 Jan 09 - 08:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 09 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Jemm 07 Jan 09 - 08:20 AM
Bernard 07 Jan 09 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Cats [cookie less] 07 Jan 09 - 08:45 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 07 Jan 09 - 08:49 AM
Joseph P 07 Jan 09 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Jemma Gurney 07 Jan 09 - 10:43 AM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 09 - 10:51 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Jan 09 - 10:55 AM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 09 - 11:02 AM
Proogle 07 Jan 09 - 11:13 AM
steve_harris 07 Jan 09 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Ed Worrall 07 Jan 09 - 12:01 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 09 - 12:26 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Jan 09 - 12:50 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Jan 09 - 04:49 PM
Les in Chorlton 08 Jan 09 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Neovo 08 Jan 09 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 08 Jan 09 - 03:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Jan 09 - 04:08 AM
davyr 08 Jan 09 - 04:19 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Jan 09 - 04:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Jan 09 - 04:34 AM
davyr 08 Jan 09 - 05:19 AM
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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: romany man
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 05:28 AM

should this thread not be retitled morris ring joins the dodo, having listened to the report, im glad the fed exists


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: pavane
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 05:33 AM

Could we not promote it under a new name, as "Medieval high-impact Aerobic exercise dance"? That should bring a get a lot of new young health-conscious dancers.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 06:06 AM

You need to get the present performers onto a radical weight loss programme first then... and out of the pubs.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Jess A
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 06:53 AM

I'm told that Jeremy Vine will be interviewing one of Pecsaetan, Jo Maher, at lunchtime today on radio 2.

She and I are two of the more senior members of Pecsaetan these days, being in our early thirties. Most of the team are in their mid twenties and there are (I think) a couple of late teens. Being all women but with a male musician, we are in the federation. That said, we do dance quite straight 'black book' style cotswold (the black book = the morris ring published notation for most of the traditional cotswold dances).

My own take on the current media fuss is that there are enough people out there who care, and enough detailed records, for 'the morris' to be safe from dying out, in some form or another.

There's a new all male, youngish Cotswold side in Sheffield at the moment, called Five Rivers Morris. I'm looking forward to seeing them when they are ready to dance out. As far as I know they are made up of a mix of experinced dancers from other teams and absolute morris novices.

As to the Olympics - I would love nothing more than for the opening ceremony to be a big and dramatic celebration of really good traditional British dancing, but only if it was to be done really well. The Olympics is imho about showcasing athletic prowess. I'm not sure how many morris dancers would class themselves as athletic but I'd bet not many. Even in my own fairly young team, we're not as fit as we should be...


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 08:03 AM

I have had the privilege of dancing with two crack sides in my time : Manchester, with which I served my apprenticeship ; and Southport Swords.

My knees will not let me dance with a Side, today. It wouldn't be fair ; I haven't the stamina these days, apart from the fact of having one bionic knee and the wait for another. I content myself with teaching

Morris at the school in Northants which my grandsons attend, at the invitation of the Head Teacher. I get the chance here to play me Anglo and my taborer's pipes.

The average age of the dancers is 10 ; and the kids think that Morris is "cool".

They took to the dance ('Jockie to the Fair', Brackley tradition) like a duck takes to water. Whether any will continue to dance later with one of the many local sides in Northants remains, of course, to be

seen.

With this attitude, I don't think that the Morris (Ring, Fed or other) is likely to become extinct yet.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 09:26 AM

A common excuse for poor performance standards is that the dancers are all too old and fat. But I know plenty of 50 - 60 year olds who climb, run, mountain bike and do other sports to a fairly high standard and who are fitter than many half their age. Why should dancing be any different?


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,dillie
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 09:39 AM

Hello all,

thought I would chip in - I was contacted by the Times this morning, after my friend who works there gave them my contact details...I've given them an honest account of how i view the morris to be heading...

I am 25 and female, and have been dancing since i was three but had quite the opposite view of the morris actually, while there aren't thousands of us young ones all in one place, turn up at Sidmouth, or Broadstairs, or IVFDF and the morris tradition is alive and kicking - be the young people members of the ring, open morris or Fed - or just interested in giving it a go through shooting roots, workshops etc.

I don't think we should wuite be working ourselves into a panic yet, but instead use this publicity in a positive way to encourage more young people to dance. - the mention of free beer and sarnies and fit girls normally gets my guy mates keen... :0)

I am not that bothered by men who want to dance together and only together - in fact I love to watch ;0)

Dillie xx


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,banksie
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 10:04 AM

The Fed members list is here:
http://www.morrisfed.org/mf/members/Alist.shtml

Haven't got time to count them myself


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Jess A
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 10:40 AM

Turns out Jeremy Vine didn't interview Jo after all but did talk to Simon Care and a member of London Pride. I haven't heard it yet but shall try to listen again later....


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 11:21 AM

The Jeremy Vine phone in was well balanced if you see it as a do we want or not type debate. Unfortunately, he found a rent a mouth journalist to put the motion that Morris has had it's day and should be discouraged etc. (Where do they get these people from?)

Lots os references to young people enjoying the sport / pastime / tradition and a 10 year old girl on the line saying she goes to practice nights at Cecil Sharpe House with her dad.

Me? Never have been "into" morris. A quick strip the widow at a ceilidh is enough for me. I was in a band for a few years and we rocked up morris tunes, mainly because our melodeon player was a morris musician.

All the same, even though I am take it or leave it, I find it beyond belief that the BBC managed to find somebody to speak in favour of killing it off!

(I was once in trouble on stage at a festival for saying it is ok between consenting adults in private. I was gagging for a pint afterwards but the bar was the usual haunt of the morris men and their big sticks...


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 11:47 AM

This in today's The Times

How a Scotsman can complain about "mimsy hops", when Scottish dancing consists of men in skirts prancing about on tip-toe amazes me.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 01:17 PM

If any of you can get ITV Thames Valley local news, Hook Eagle Morris will be on in the next 15 minutes.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 01:38 PM

The guy who wrote the piece in the Times is the same one who was on the Jeremy Vine show with Simon. He was a complete idiot. In both, he compares Scottish social or ceilidh dance with English display dance - it's not like with like. His parting shot to Simon on the radio was "At least we have real swords to dance with, and not little sticks."

Moron.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: steve_harris
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 04:22 PM

Olympics - I would love nothing more than for the opening ceremony to be a big and dramatic celebration of really good traditional British dancing, but only if it was to be done really well

This is the crux of the matter. I have a somewhat deserved reputation for disliking Morris. The truth is I like the 2% that's exciting. I'm afraid a lot of the general population are Philistines like me. They've seen Old Boring and Crap Morris dance out and they're not impressed.

Most sides seem to exist for reasons that don't seriously include entertaining the public. Now there may be merit in preserving a tradition, keeping fit and drinking some beer, just as there may be merit in gardening, cross-stitch and bee-keeping. The difference is that most gardeners, etc. get on with their hobby in private.

A friend of mine has recently been recruited into a side. They are exciting and she's a fine dancer. That is how it should be.

She is young but that's a very minor detail.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Roger Kennington
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 04:36 PM

I agree about the fitness thing. There are loads of 50 plus year olds doing marathon's etc. Not all morris dancers are in that category.. shuffling and flat footed a lot of them.. so many youngsters will just walk away from it.

Good to see the younger folks fighting back in this thread. Good technique and loads of attitude is what makes Morris attractive. There is some of it. We need more.

Roger Kennington


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 04:40 PM

Any form of dance whether ritual or social, or indeed any other variety of song- or tune-related, tradarts-based activity ought not to be performed in public until its exponents are actually good enough to dance or otherwise perform out. That would include even Magnus Linklater of The Times prancing about with his "real sword".

Simon Care was magnificent on Jeremy Vine. It's about 40' in on the replayer if you want to skip the drivel


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 05:11 PM

I blame Dick Miles, he started a thread on this forum,in which he tried to get people to discuss the Morris Ring,and male only morris dancing,it must have been over a year ago,and now look what has happened.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 05:15 PM

Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones - PM
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 11:47 AM

This in today's The Times

How a Scotsman can complain about "mimsy hops", when Scottish dancing consists of men in skirts prancing about on tip-toe amazes me.
Kilts,Howard.
are you trying to start a verbal Battle of Culloden.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 06:07 PM

Hmmm... the Earl of Stamford Morris (I'm Chief Musician) have a healthy influx of youngsters...

Until three of them went to University a couple of months ago we were able to field a junior side ranging from 12 years old to 18 years old, complete with melodeon player (15 years old).

We're a mixed Cotswold side currently dancing Lichfield, Adderbury, Badby and Stanton Harcourt traditions.

Oh, and our sticks are like pickaxe handles...!

Border Morris and Rapper seem to attract youngsters, too - I think North West Morris is struggling to find young blood, though.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 06:10 PM

Dick, I know what they're called. Linklater's article in the Times compares morris unfavourably with Scottish dancing. My point was that Scottish dancing could be considered equally ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 06:37 PM

Mr. Linklater's comments are more ignorant than he realises as Morris Dancing - or at least some form of dancing bearing that name, was known at least as early as 1501 in Scotland since the Treasury Accounts for that year record a payment " To the men that brocht in the morice dance, and to thair menstralis" (1501–2 Treas. Acc. II. 135.)

Similarly sword dancing other than highland sword dancing was known since, as well as the Papa Stour sword dance of Shetland, records survive of the Kirk supressing it post reformation - in Elgin for example.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 06 Jan 09 - 06:53 PM

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


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

That should read Magnus Linklater, not Maurice (Freudian slip!).


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: romany man
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 05:31 AM

tradition versus evolution, many young people are attracted to border as it apears more dynamic possibly, what with as in our side big sticks, flying long tatters and plenty of noise and clashing, oh and we are a mix of young and old, who try to add new dances every year, yes in the fashion of trad border but with a newer twist.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 06:27 AM

I know a number of younger dancers who dance Cotswold. Look at the competitors (and winners) in the John Gasson Jig Competition at Sidmouth for a start.

I agree that Northwest is probably the form which is most on the decline with younger dancers - it would be great to see a bit of rejuvenation there. Northwest, when danced well, can be as dynamic and exciting as other forms of morris, IMHO.

I may be digging myself a bit of a hole here, but I almost think that the popularity of certain types of morris in recent years are contributing to the decline in standards. I wouldn't dream of naming names, but some sides seem to have given a lot more thought and attention to their fabulous kit and ther facepaint than to the quality of the dancing, which can be pretty shoddy (IMHO).

The thing I find encouraging is the quality of the dancing in many of the Cotswold sides which have enjoyed an influx of younger members. As someone said earlier, "Good technique and loads of attitude is what makes Morris attractive." From what I've seen, the quality of the dancing isn't entirely down to the age of the participants (though stamina and good nees must be hugely beneficial), but to the standards of the side as a whole and how much emphasis they place on the quality of the dance. And I think the opportunity of dancing in a quality side is one thing that does attract (and keep) younger members.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:10 AM

Up till now I've kept out of this conversation, because as an ageing Morrisman I'm part of the problem - and I have no instant solution for it. However, posters so far seem to be missing an important point, so here goes.   

Trying to improve the image of Morris dancing in the mass media is probably a waste of effort. This is because the fundamental values of Morris (and of most other "folk" activities) are incompatible with the values of the media.

The media is primarily concerned with selling us things – whether goods, services or ideas. It tries to bully us into acquiring new things before the old ones wear out, by declaring that whatever we've already got has just become unfashionable.    People who refuse to renounce the unfashionable are mercilessly mocked – for the high priests of commerce, any form of traditionalism is heresy.

Most folk arts (Morris included) stay under the journalistic radar most of the time - and a good thing too. Skilful media management can occasionally give a traditional activity a sexy image for a short time. But beware - whatever (and whoever) the media builds up today, it starts knocking down tomorrow.   Keeping a low profile and relying on word-of-mouth publicity to attract recruits is a safer strategy for long term survival.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:16 AM

Spot on Mike,

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Jemm
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:20 AM


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Bernard
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:42 AM

Excellent ambassadors for Morris (and Folk in general) for the Olympics would be Damien Barber's 'Demon Barbers Roadshow'... very precise, energetic and full of showmanship.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Cats [cookie less]
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:45 AM

I have just come from a class of 14 /15 year olds and in the course of conversation on a piece of coursework one of the boys suggested Morris dancing as part of the essay. I gently asked him about what he meant and he said he had been in the town recently in the evening and had seen the local morris team practicising and had stood and watched them for a while, until he got too cold. He thought it was cool and would like to have a go but then added but it's a bit energetic so I might not be able to do it. I told him that it didn't have to be at first and that he would be well looked after and they would give him all the help he needed. He's now positively thinking about it and I will contact the local moris to get them to send him an invite. If it works, great, if it doesn't well at least he is interested enough to keep watching them and with any luck.....


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:49 AM

"Excellent ambassadors for Morris (and Folk in general) for the Olympics would be Damien Barber's 'Demon Barbers Roadshow'... very precise, energetic and full of showmanship."

The Demon Barber's Roadshow would rock the socks off many youngsters. They should be everywhere, on our TV screens and at all our major festivals, on the main stages.

They are SUPERB!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Joseph P
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 09:14 AM

Its funny how small changes within a team can make a big impact on the appearance of the dance.

I dance within a single tradition which means each dance is pretty well defined, with no scope to change (although we definitely do not follow a black book!!!). I think this is good in that it allows dancers to concentrate on improving on their dancing skill and style, as opposed to learning a load of different styles, dances etc, none of which are necessarily danced well, or trying to develop 'interesting' novelty dances that people think will woo the crowds, but might just look messy. Who knows.

The attitude of a team before each dance has a big impact. There are definitely two types of showing off, the obvious brash type which sticks out and annoys people, and then there is the quietly doing your best way, perhaps competing with the person opposite as to who can keep their line traighter, who can be lighter footed etc. If everyone is trying in this way then a team will look fantastic. If the dancers are plodding through yet another dance then that is what it will look like! You dont have to be young, you dont have to be super-fit (but it helps).

Apprenticeships within a team definitely have an impact. Marking out the newens may seem a bit harsh but it gives them something to aim for. It worked for me and within 6 months of dancing I was on the main stage at Sidmouth!

The Morris wont die, but it's popularity will wax and wane. This is only a problem for those that want to make money out of it! At the end of the day you cant force people to dance (unless you count schools!) As I have said before, teams who dwell on their dwindling numbers and have a try hard recruitment plan might not always be as successful as those who get on with the dancing, and do it well! (which is more about attitude than practise).


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Jemma Gurney
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 10:43 AM

I think mike is right too - This thing about "young people being too embarrassed" indicates they think morris is uncool. I think an essential part of anything being cool is for it to have an air of quite confidence - to pretend that it doesn't care whether it's cool or not. As such - jumping up and down to prove your cool-ness indicatively makes you uncool!

I morris dance primarily for sociable reasons. I love going out for the weekend with Pecsaetan - we are all similar ages, we have similar concerns, and we have a huge laugh in each other's company.

For more established sides to self perpetuate I think they need that critical mass of youngsters (at least four) such they can spark off each other and have fun on their own terms. And if they have plenty of opportunity to meet up with other teams with youngsters so much the better – watching the Great Western and Martha Roddens / Shropshire Bedlams teenagers all as high as kites together in the ceilidhs at sidmouth this blatantly proves that. Don't underestimate the power of teenage flirtation in keeping their interest in a hobby!

In addition, all the Cotswold teams I can think of with a reasonable youth contingent have relatively subtle kits, plus the standard of dancing within the team (both younger and older members alike) is above the normal, and that definitely helps. If you are taking part in a hobby that is deemed by most of the population as being the uncoolest thing on earth it's very important to be able to think – "ah, but my teams better than most of the others, and that makes it ok for me to do it" and "at least I don't look like a complete burke in my kit".

Getting that critical mass of youth in a team in the first place is, I guess, the hardest thing to do. And the only effective way this can be achieved (IMHO) is at a very grass roots level – i.e. taking friends of your kids to festivals / morris weekends. Or organising school activities, but making sure that school activity then gets and chance to go to a festival where there are other kids are at. Watching other people enjoying themselves morris dancing is going to be by far the biggest enticement into taking part yourself – whatever your age. And this can't be done through the tele – you have to be there to get the feeling of the atmosphere and the time to hang around and drink beer (when you are old enough, of course!), to talk crap and interact as well as dance.

In a similar form this is why things like shooting roots / demon barbers / folkworks youth summer schools are so successful and so important. Providing amazing tutors that can easily gain the respect of younger generations and simultaneously giving them the chance to meet friends and have a laugh is a key combination.

Hence, if I was the morris ring, I would devote my efforts into encouraging practical ways of getting younger people to morris events that are fun, or getting the 18 year olds from Great Western / Bristol to go and each the 13 year olds in some other team for a weekend etc.

For morris to become more socially acceptable it needs to increase in numbers and standards from the roots up, in a quietly confident way as a fairly underground activity. Mass media publicity is so not the way to do it.

Jems
(p.s. apologies for the length of this post – I must learn to be more consise!)


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 10:51 AM

I suspect many of us were attracted to Morris because it was old and strange. I don't think it's as old and strange as I hopped but if lots of people do it it is bound to loose some of its strangeness.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 10:55 AM

I don't think old and strange hopping really has a role in Morris.
In fact, it's part of the perceived problem . . .


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 11:02 AM

Fairenuffski, but old and strange is crucial. Although all that fertility stuff has been discredited it still can be old and strange but much is lost by endless revival sides with few roots anywhere.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Proogle
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 11:13 AM

I love Morris :) all types. Except Cotswald but thats personal opinion.
As i said before im young :)


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: steve_harris
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 11:45 AM

but some sides seem to have given a lot more thought and attention to their fabulous kit and ther facepaint than to the quality of the dancing, which can be pretty shoddy

I think this is display dance the world over. The better the kit, etc, the more pedestrian the dancing.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Ed Worrall
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 12:01 PM

"Endless revival sides with no roots" Well that's most of the Ring, Fed, Open and unaffiliated sides taken care of then?!

I don't think it's the number of sides that creates a problem for recruitment, simply is it a good laugh to do and what someone new would want to get involved with.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 12:26 PM

True enough Ed.

A thousands years ago before the war it was not uncommon to see Country Dance "Demonstration" Teams. They demonstrated social dance to whoever. I think this is a rare event now. Social dance is just that. Is Morris anything other? Sometimes I think it is - old and strange? I hope so.

I don't think anybody has started a revival Britannia Coconut Dance side. Why not, pretty well everything else has been copied? I feel the same about Mumming and Souling. Antrobus Soulcakers are truly old and strange but those other plays with David Beckham, Darth Vador and George Bush just seem silly.

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 12:50 PM

The Guardian disagrees


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:49 PM

"I don't think anybody has started a revival Britannia Coconut Dance side. Why not, pretty well everything else has been copied?"

Because the Coco-nutters have actively tried to prevent it. They wouldn't even let Sharp notate their dances.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 03:32 AM

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, is their perhaps a recognition that Britannia is just too special? It would be easy enough to replicate if anybody had the nerve. Brass Monkey have recorded at least one of their tunes. So, of not Britannia why not leave Headington, Bampton, Colne Royal or Poynton Jemmers dances etc alone?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 03:40 AM

Jemma Gurney makes a good point about kit. Some of the older shuffler cotswold sides have atrocious kit - tabards that make them look like hotel cleaning staff etc. I wouldn't be seen dead in some of it and I'm the wrong side of young!


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 03:52 AM

Les, it's not about "nerve", it's about respect. The Coconut Dancers are a living tradition and they don't want their dance to be done by anyone else. Fair enough. Similarly, Abingdon don't want their dances done by other sides.

Bamton and Headington dances have been part of the morris revival since Cecil Sharp's day, and to that extent are in the public domain, and the present sides seem to accept that.

Colne Royal is danced by other sides, including Chinewrde who have actually danced it in Colne. Poynton Jemmers are a revival side.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 04:08 AM

Sure enough Howard, respect is a much better word. Revival is an aspect of the living tradition of morris. Many sides collapsed and were revived through the 19C. Would Headington and Bampton have survived without Sharp? We will never Know. Are Jemmers a revival side? I cannot speak for them but I think their origins and revival are deep in that part of Cheshire. Prehaps some can tell us?

Gorton, currently "resting" have a history that goes back well into the 19C and I can see the point of the young men of Gorton reviving that tradition - it feels "old and strange". But I am not sure of the point of people in the South East creating Northwest sides or people anywhere reviving traditions where none existed.

In the end people will do what they like but will it be "old and strange"?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: davyr
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 04:19 AM

"Fair enough. Similarly, Abingdon don't want their dances done by other sides."

And neither do Chipping Camden:

http://www.chippingcampdenmorrismen.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=28


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 04:20 AM

If you want a reason why the Coco-Nutters' policy is a good one (IMHO), have a look at the dances which go by the name of Abbots Bromley Horn Dance on Youtube:

Renfairs R Us

another American side - someone has clearly been to Thaxted

...and in New Jersey, more Thaxted-stylee

And that's just a few. What do they have in common? Well, none of them bears much resemblance to what actually happens in Abbots Bromley. Most of the versions you'll see are based on Thaxted rather than Abbots Bromley itself (the folked-up version somehow being "more atmospheric" than the original?). I'm kind of glad no one has got their hands on Bacup and "improved" it.


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 04:34 AM

Id go with all of that Ruth. Are most Morris sides actually Tribute sides? Perhaps they should have "Tribute" names the way "Tribute" rock bands do?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
From: davyr
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 05:19 AM

"Headingdowntown Morris"? ;-)


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