Friday, 28 April 2017

Five on Friday Morris Dancing

Hello

Thanks for visiting, lovely tosee you especially as today we are linking up with the FAST blog for Five on Friday.

As one of the traditional days for morris dancing is 1st May, which is amazingly just round the corner, today my five is all about this English tradition.

One - What is it?

Morris Dance is an English folk dance accompanied by music.  The earliest record shows it taking place in he reign of King Henry VII in the 1500s as part of court entertainment but it then spread to large houses and village entertainment.  Today most Morris clubs are revivals and at the turn of the Millennium, there were 800 clubs in the UK and 1000 worldwide.  The dances are based on rhythmic stepping and choreographed figures, often with bells, handkerchiefs and implements waved overhead.  A band of musicians accompanies the dancers as does a fool or a mythical beast.

 Two - Types

There are several different types of dance coming from different parts of the UK:  Cotswold, Border from the Welsh Borders, Molly Dancing, Rush Bearing,  Rapper Sword Dancing, Longsword Dancing and North West Dancing.  Each with different origins and using different types of costumes and equipment.  For instance the Border type usually blacken their faces and Molly dancers have at least one man dressed as a woman.


Three - Costumes

My photos are of the Barley Brigg Morris Club that are based in Suffolk.  They dance in the North West Morris tradition.  You can see that their costumes consist of red socks, colourful flowered hats, with blue and white skirts for the women and blue breeches with a red sash for the men.  They use a variety of implements from ribbon or plain sticks, short sticks covered in bells to heavy wooden bobbins and cotton rope slings with weighted ends.

Other forms of Morris have other traditions, some wearing costumes of rags, others are all in white with bells below the knee, some have black breeches and a white shirt covered in rosettes with flexible swords. Some look quite scary all in black.


Four - Music

Originally the dancers would be accompanied by pipe and tabor but these days you see fiddles, accordions, concertinas and tambourines with drums, even brass bands in the North West.  Tunes played can be quite old or from the music hall era with songs adapted to fit the dances.


Five - The Morris Ring

The Morris Ring is the National Association of Morris Clubs which promotes Morris dancing and maintains its traditions.  Have a look at the website to see much more about each type of morris dance.


If you'd like to see them dance, have a look at this YouTube video.



Many thanks Carly and Tricky.



Cheerio

17 comments:

  1. This group of Morris dancers look very colourful in their costumes. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that there should be groups out and about during the May holiday weekend. Have a good one!

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  2. How very interesting! I love traditions and it is amazing that this one goes back so far and is still alive and well today :) I Hope you can stop by:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2017/04/tea-time-wedding-and-great-wolf-42817.html

    Colletta

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  3. I love Morris Dancing! It's such a wonderful thing to watch. I remember seeing it quite often at festivals as a child. It had been a while since I had seen it, but while Mum and I were on our way to Scotland on a coach trip we stopped at a small town on the way and saw some Morris Dancers outside a church. It was so lovely to see!

    Happy Five on Friday!

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  4. How interesting! I have never heard of Morris Dancing, it's so great to preserve the old costumes and traditions.

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  5. Thank you for all the info, I find Morris Dancing fascinating and keep hoping we'll see a group some time when we're in England.

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  6. I always learn something when I read your posts. I enjoyed watching the dancers. Thank you for sharing. Hope you have a wonderful week!

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  7. I love to see the Morris Dancers in the summer at our village fair...so important to keep the old traditions alive.

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  8. I am a great fan and love to see them at Country events. Something that we will miss now that we have moved but I am a great fan of the pipers.

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  9. I love to see the Morris. We got up at the crack of dawn on Beltane last year to see our local side see in the May. Sang along to Hal an Tow. Sadly they aren't dancing this year.

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  10. Thank you for highlighting the May bank holiday and the old customs like Maypoles and Morris Dancing. I love to watch them and I like the way they are all different from various regions of the country:)

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  11. I would love to see a Morris Dancing group in person! I didn't know there were so many different types. This is a fascinating post!

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  12. A great post about traditions. Have a good week. Cathy x

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  13. It's such a great tradition, I love watching them at the village fetes x

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  14. I love to watch Morris dancing and enjoy the old traditions. It is great to learn more about the history, thank you.

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  15. I love morris dancing and that no on else seems to have anything quite like it!

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  16. What a great Five on Friday post, thank you so much for participating, I apologise for being so late getting round to everyone's blogs, we had so much going on that I just didn't get a chance, I hope you understand. All the Best - Tricky

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  17. Don't worry, you've got a lot on and I'm on holiday! Thanks for the link up. 😊

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