Mr Fox and his dancers To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=127090
36 messages

Mr Fox and his dancers

05 Feb 10 - 12:26 PM (#2830736)
Subject: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Les in Chorlton

Marsden Imbolc
Tunnel End, Marsden, Huddersfield
Saturday February 6, 2010What's this all about then?

Mr Fox

L in C


05 Feb 10 - 02:53 PM (#2830867)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Les from Hull

It depends how gullible you are.


05 Feb 10 - 03:11 PM (#2830894)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Les in Chorlton

We are usually gullible for a few posts, sceptical for a few, cynical for a while, then unkind followed by agressive.

What do you know Les?

Les


05 Feb 10 - 03:14 PM (#2830896)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: theleveller

Looks like Les is more here.


05 Feb 10 - 03:18 PM (#2830906)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: bill\sables

If you've never seen them you should.
Bill


05 Feb 10 - 03:20 PM (#2830907)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: peregrina

like nothing else... a mysterious and memorable show from them at Whitby Moor and Coast last year


05 Feb 10 - 03:33 PM (#2830920)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: The Villan

To Les In Charlton and Les in Hull
Aren't these the guys that did the torch lit walks through the streets of Whitby at the Moor and Coast festivals?

Les in Market Rasen


05 Feb 10 - 04:31 PM (#2830958)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: SteveMansfield

Like nothing else you've ever seen - mysticism, masks, maques, fire, poetry, dance, mythology, theatre, and more fire.

If James George Frazer had ever seen this lot, he'd have thought all his Samhains had come at once ...

LeS(ession)


05 Feb 10 - 05:08 PM (#2830982)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: John Routledge

Very Different. Highly recommended. Link says it all - or most of it.


05 Feb 10 - 05:14 PM (#2830986)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,Cublet

It's true. Every Imbolc for the last 10 years Mr Fox has helped the good people of Marsden get rid of Jack Frost and welcomed back the Spring in the form of the Green Man. Remember though this is symbolic - it is usually wet, cold and frosty/snowy for a few weeks afterwards :-)

This starts from The Railway with a torch lit procession with a variety of bands etc to Tunnel End at 7pm. Those watching stay at the bottom of a steep banking near the canal to get the best view. There's a 'fight' between Jack Frost with his pack of hounds and the Green Man helped by foxes at the top of the banking. Fireworks abound.Please follow any instructions from the marshalls.

After the firework show everyone heads back to town/home. Mr Fox then do a show on the carpark of The United Church in the centre of town. Hopefully this will be about 8.45pm but watch for the flare and listen for the drumming.

As Bill\Sables says "If you've never seen them you should".

It is advisable to get there early as it can get very busy. It is also usually COLD!!!!!


05 Feb 10 - 05:22 PM (#2830991)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: John Routledge

Cublet's post gives the rest :0)


05 Feb 10 - 05:24 PM (#2830994)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Les from Hull

I agree, very impressive. But why do they pretend it's traditional?


05 Feb 10 - 06:16 PM (#2831040)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,Cublet

Sorry about that - paw trouble.

What is this 'traditional' Les? The dances we dance are for our pleasure and some have been danced for many years now. Does this not make them 'Traditional'to ourselves?

We had a vixen who told us the story to go with the dance so the cubs could learn and pass on the tradition to the next generation. Is this not how history is made?


06 Feb 10 - 09:28 AM (#2831342)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,suzi

Well worth seeing.... seen them twice in Whitby.


06 Feb 10 - 09:48 AM (#2831355)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Catherine Jayne

Seen them a few times...fantastic!!!


06 Feb 10 - 09:53 AM (#2831358)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Les from Hull

I think it might need a year or two more to be properly 'traditional' in the folklore sense. But specifically I am referring to the claims on the Mr Fox website.

I'm not taking anything away from the fine show put on.


07 Feb 10 - 02:46 PM (#2832304)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,Cublet

Thanks to those of you who turned up (about 3,000 I think). Hopefully we will have persuaded Winter not to hang about for TOO much longer! Thanks to all who organised it and invited us. There was a dragon of very tiny people (think some of them were only about 3), lots of excellent poi work, a couple of Samba bands, and of course the Green Man and Jack Frost.

I was right though. It was COLD!!!!

Les, if you read very carefully I think you will find it says "It is said ......" - take that as you will :-)


07 Feb 10 - 03:57 PM (#2832381)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Folkiedave

And rumour has it that they may have been filmed by the BBC (Country file)


07 Feb 10 - 10:15 PM (#2832676)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Effsee

Well FD, it wasn't on tonight's programme.


07 Feb 10 - 10:16 PM (#2832679)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Effsee

Sorry, should have said last night's prog.


08 Feb 10 - 08:00 AM (#2832736)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Folkiedave

I think for that show - filmed in advance.


08 Feb 10 - 08:08 AM (#2832744)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Gedi

I went along for the first time on Saturday and was very surprised by the number of folk there. It was very busy, but good to see so many take an interest in such things, traditional or no...

The main display on the field at Tunnel End was very good, with lots of participants twirling fire batons and stuff, and the finale with the battle between Jack Frost and the Green Man was great, followed by a decent firework display.

But for me the highlight was the Mr Fox display - it was as described by sfmans above, very mysterious, very theatrical, good musicianship, and lots of Fire. Well worth seeing.

Thanks Cublet, and thanks to all in Mr Fox : )

Cheers, Ged


08 Feb 10 - 08:25 AM (#2832759)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,LTS on the sofa

Having played with many of the Mr Fox crew, and loved every minute of it - I can heartily recommend any of their performances to anyone who likes good dancing, amazing pyrotechnics and fabulous theatre... and to paraphrase Ian Fleming :~

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times it's TRADITION!!!

LTS


08 Feb 10 - 08:33 AM (#2832771)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,Cublet

Somebody mentioned that the extract would be used on the show on 28th February. I don't know exactly what was filmed or how much will be used.

Glad you enjoyed the show Ged. Thanks for all the excellent feedback in this thread. It's good to know you appreciate Mr Fox.


08 Feb 10 - 08:57 AM (#2832792)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Les in Chorlton

This is far too good humoured. Are all the grumps on holiday?

L in C


08 Feb 10 - 03:40 PM (#2833232)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Wheatman

Pleased some one did not spray water on their party


08 Feb 10 - 04:55 PM (#2833334)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Mr Fox

Nowt to do with me. Must be some other vulpine.


10 Feb 10 - 03:48 PM (#2835348)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,Sniff

The BBC did film Fox and will be shown on Sunday 26th of Feb at 6 pm so I here...

Wasn't any snow this year, not sure if that was an improvemrnt or not though!


10 Feb 10 - 09:46 PM (#2835697)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Soldier boy

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!

Chris

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!


   



   
.


11 Feb 10 - 02:57 AM (#2835793)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Phil Edwards

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.

Alternatively, it's something men do more than women now, but we've got no evidence that men have been doing it more than women for as much as 100 years, let alone several millennia. You can't prove speculations about the past with facts about the present.

It sounds like a fantastic show - I'm sold. But in terms of tradition it sounds like pure fakelore.


11 Feb 10 - 04:08 AM (#2835823)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Folkiedave

I think those of you seeking a solution to the history of Mr. Fox would do well to note that the web page is in English and Catalan.

Given a moment or two - you might then look up the Catalan word for fire, and to make it plural you just add an "s"

I am sure the rest of Sheffield City Morris will not mind me saying that the papers referred to found in the oaken chest are indeed retained by us on a rotating nature so that no-one except the current guardian and the person who passes them on will know precisely with whom they are kept.

Sheffield City Morris will be seen at Sidmouth 2010 doing the dances referred to. The Midhopestones Dance Tradition is sometimes referred to as the "Mid" (or "Med") Up" tradition.


11 Feb 10 - 04:50 AM (#2835841)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: SteveMansfield

Might I venture to respectfully suggest that those who seek to query the folklore/fakelore status of the tale of Mr Fox are, perhaps, themselves being gently foxed, or perhaps even having their tails tweaked?


21 Feb 10 - 01:05 PM (#2845896)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: Micca

It seems it is in tonights programme? I just caught some of the "on tonights show..." BBC 1 Country file


21 Feb 10 - 06:18 PM (#2846150)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: BusyBee Paul

It was. But my sister phoned from USA just at it got started - I'll have to watch it again on iPlayer.


21 Feb 10 - 07:18 PM (#2846210)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,Cublet

Thanks for the phone call Micca. I managed to see it - apart from the starting part you caught. My father (who hasn't managed to catch the show proper yet) was much impressed.

We were told it was going to be on next week but they must have changed their minds. I wonder what they will do with all the rest of the stuff they filmed.

You may notice it is NOT the samba band you can hear with the Druids. It is some of the Fox drummers. After being drowned out/split up by the Samba lot for the last couple of years Mr Fox intimated what might happen to them if they did it again so they hung back in the procession where they were more appreciated.


22 Feb 10 - 12:11 PM (#2846738)
Subject: RE: Mr Fox and his dancers
From: GUEST,eric the viking

It has improved so much. I went to the first one many years, 18 or more? ago and then continued even after we'd left marsden. Bit far from Orkney.Saw it on country file last night.