Foresters Morris
and Sword Dancing Club
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Morris dancing



Foresters Morris as part of the Chatsworth House Spectacular.
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"Morris Dancing" is a term applied in many parts of England to traditional seasonal customs of various kinds. Since the early 1900s many customs have ceased to exist, and revival teams have been formed whose objective is to preserve some of these customs. Morris dancing is referred to in the Nottingham City archives of 1530, but nothing is known of the dances performed.

Our repertoire consists mainly of dances from the Cotswold villages, the region around Oxford and Stratford-on-Avon. which in times past were performed as a spring ritual. The dances symbolise work, fighting, and fertility. We wear white to signify our purity, bells to frighten away the evil spirits, and use handkerchiefs to pass the magic of the dance out to the audience. The audience is also expected to participate by donating towards the collection, which brings the giver the luck of the Morris for the coming year. Each village had its own dances, tunes and style of dance.

The traditional music was provided by a three-hole pipe and tabor (drum) or a fiddle. Nowadays the concertina, melodeon and accordion have all found a place.

The general term "Morris Dancing" applies to other English customs. These include mummers plays (performed around Christmas) and plough plays (performed on Plough Monday) which used to occur in many places in the East Midlands. The plays were performed generally at mid-winter, and symbolised the death of the old year, and the birth of the new. The play we perform is based on ones performed at Long Benington and Staunton. We also perform sword dances.

See also the Webfeet : Dancing on the Web page.



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Updated Wednesday 01-May-2024 12:14
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Eric manages web sites for
Chaturangan, Greenwood Clog, King Billy Sessions, Young Folk, Austrian tiler and Freds Folks.

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