Sunday, September 03, 2006

Morris Masterclass

Haven't sorted out the root problem, but have circumvented it for now! So, as promised, here are some photos and clips from Towersey Festival, and a brief bit of explanation.

This is Gog Magog Molly, molly dancers from Cambridge.

Molly dancing is a form of traditional dancing from the fens, with a very distinctive style of step and clothing. It's believed it was danced by the ploughboys in the winter, going up to the big house to earn some money. I do have a deep love of folk dancing and would dearly love to be involved in some way. Due to my dreadful co-ordination, A believes I would have to undergo an inspection by Health & Safety before I was allowed to dance waving a wooden stick around. The video gives some idea of the molly dance style:

Sorted! I turned to A and asked him if he'd cope if I was seen in an outfit similar to the colourful ones on display. He then pointed out to me that I could rustle up a suitably garish unco-ordinating outfit and ridiculous hat quite easily out of the clothes I have lurking in the back of my wardrobe. Thanks for that...

This is Dogrose Morris from Yorkshire. They dance in the Cotswold style, which is the style most people think of when they think of Morris dancing (all in white with bells and baldrics). They leap higher than any Morris dancers I've ever seen, but they are a lot younger than most!

When I went back on Monday, they danced a tray dance, which I've never seen before. I can't imagine ever living anywhere else in the world - how can you be downhearted when you can spend a damp Bank holiday watching two blokes beat each other over the head with tea-trays?

This clip is of Chiltern Hundreds Morris, who dance North West Clog Morris. As you can see, it is a different style and has its roots in the industrial mill towns of the North West. The dancers used to process through the streets behind the rush carts. The chapel in Macclesfield Forest still has a rush bearing service every summer, even though there are no mills, but I've never seen dancers there.

These two clips are both of Black Adder Rapper and Step. As the name suggests, they dance percussive (step) and Rapper dances.

The first clip shows a percussive dance:

The second is a Rapper dance. Rapper is a style of dance that originated in the mining communities of Northumberland and Durham. The Rapper itself is a short sword that was probably originally adapted from a pit tool.

Sadly, since these were recorded on my camera, they look better viewed in a smaller window than they are in here.


Titters. Whoop whoop! said...

Hi, I'm Rachel, I'm Galadriel1010 and I commented some of your videos on YouTube and sort of followed a couple of links and ended up here.

The teams at Towersey were amazing this year weren't they? But then again, they always are! Thanks for putting those videos up on YouTube, they're great. I wish we'd taken our camera with us, but we couldn't find it.

Nic said...

Cambridge is brilliant for music, and one day i will get to sidmouth, but Towersey always has a special place in my heart due to the dancing displays in the arena. Always a feature of the August Bank Holiday when I was a child, and my first experience of festival camping when I was a student - although only I could start my (limited) festival going a mile and a half from home...