I love all things British – particularly the eccentricities, like Morris Dancing! Its rich history and how each and every troupe has its own identity and story absolutely fascinates me – and I love being part of it and creating awareness of this wonderful dance tradition to a much wider and more diverse audience. For some years I’ve worked with a wonderful troupe called the Dartmoor Border Morris, you can see me and Treggie in the photo below. They also had a starring role in The Black Farmer TV commercial which you can see here. I find the whole experience energising and really connects with the history of a local community.
The vibrant movement, costumes, music and colour, really captivates my senses. I simply relish the camaraderie, unity and flamboyance of the sport and its British tradition. With the paraphernalia of bells and flowers there is something very beautiful about Morris dancing. It’s the way it unites a group of men and women for the simple enjoyment of dance and celebration of life. I consider myself a true Morris Man. Long live Morris Dancing!
If you’re new to Morris Dancing, it’s a tradition that dates back to as early as 1448, Morris Dancing really is an art and has long been enjoyed by Englishmen and women. Well known in England before the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot and even the Wars of the Roses, Morris Dancing boasts over 500 years of the evolution of a dance!
It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancer. Dances are unique to each troupe, who often don bell pads on their shins and use other implements including sticks, handkerchiefs and swords as part of the dance and story telling. Dancers clap their sticks, handkerchiefs or swords together to match with the dance. And of course the outfits! These reflect the history of the troupe – I hope you like my hat which I created. As usual, I wanted to stand out from the crowd!