Today, girls’ morris functions at a distance from the morris dancing of the English folk revival; despite performing with an all-female Cotswold Morris side, Waters Green Morris, based in Macclesfield, Cheshire—in the very heart of girls’ morris country—I was previously unaware of this parallel strand of morris performance taking place on my doorstep. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers, usually wearing bell pads on their shins. and Bentley, Bernard. Others are the first in their families to dance. var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); Other photographs are more formally posed; troupes cluster around a glut of trophies or a hand-painted shield, grinning proudly for the camera, wearing waistcoats heavy with medals. (1991) ‘Institutions and Ideology in the Dissemination of Morris Dances in the Northwest of England,’ Yearbook for Traditional Music, Vol. This team is backed up by a committee and lots of hard working parents that provide support and help fundraising for troupe uniform, travelling expenses and making sure dresses and other uniform is clean and tidy every week!!!!! … during the 1970s, some made contact with people who had danced in the 1920s and 1930’s and the team learn the dance from Aughton (near Ormskirk) from one of these contacts. Dubbed the ‘Inspire Morris Dancers’, the group collected their very own uniforms earlier this week and hope to put them to good use throughout 2019. So after my final year with Tanhouse, I decided to join another troupe as I didn’t want to stop dancing all together. As the geographer, Tim Edensor notes, ‘the carnival remains an occasion at which normally concealed social tensions are celebrated’ (Edensor, 2002: 84). Ages of the dancers range from 3 years old to 30 years old. (function(){var k='2354831680',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);return escape(c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j))}}}var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash; By Maxine Wolstenholme @maxinewolstenh1 News Editor. Girls’ morris has a rich past and a vital present that deserves to be better documented, and doing so could help to elucidate the role and nature of folk dance in contemporary England. _udn = "none"; Are you in this Paulettes Morris Dancing Troupe picture from 1971? 9 No. i was born and grew up in the northern part of Liverpool and, during the 1970s, joined the Southport Swords – a male side doing primarily longsword dancing. _gaq.push(['_setAllowHash', false]); Practice is … Frequently passed along matriarchal lines, many of today’s dancers have grandparents, and even great-grandparents who were involved. Girls’ Carnival Morris Dancing: a Contemporary Folk Dance? Tanhouse Morris Dancers 2005-2010 Valencia: 2011-2012. can relate to it – – by putting yourself into it straightaway present tense as our gateway. A MUM-OF-THREE who set up a Morris dancing troupe from scratch – despite knowing nothing about the art – has spurred them on to scoop more than 50 trophies. Any troupes infringing this rule will be disqualified. I have barely scratched the surface. Dancers typically wear white or brightly colored clothing that flows when they twist or turn, and often set their outfits off with a bright red or green sash. 's://ssl':'://www')+'.google-analytics.com'+'/siteopt.js?v=1&utmxkey='+k+'&utmx='+(x?x:'')+'&utmxx='+(xx?xx:'')+'&utmxtime='+new Date().valueOf()+(h? Adams, Natalie Guice and Bettis, Pamela, J. We are a Morris Dancing troupe based in Wythenshawe, Manchester and are always looking for new or old dancers to come and join us between the ages of 4yrs - 30+ yrs. A number of us were interested in the morris from our area. No triple dancing will be permitted. We had another contact in Liverpool who promised to teach us a dance he had done in his youth but we lost touch with him. Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time. Troupes devise and polish a single dance per year; selecting new music and creating costumes, drawing on an active network of trainers and supporters. A troupe of girls’ morris dancers compete at English Town and Country Carnival Organisation (ETACCO) championships © 2013 L Wright. #FolkloreThursday 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3AX. var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; Trophies on display at ETACCO End of Season championships © 2013 L Wright. However, it demonstrates convincing claims to an historical depth and geographical continuity comparable with many of the performances associated with the English folk movement. Morris dancers from Beorma Border Morris dancing troupe in Kings Heath pose for a photograph after visiting a local friend on May Day under Coronavirus lockdown on 1st May 2020 in Birmingham,... Erstklassige Nachrichtenbilder in hoher Auflösung bei Getty Images Orcadia Morris Dancers at the End of Season Championships (2013) © 2013 L Wright. Nice work, Dr Lucy. Manchester Morris Dancers and its predecessor team, the Manchester Morris Men, have been dancing since 1930 and dance both North-west Clog Morris and Cotswold Dances. Leigh West Park Morris Dancing Troupe has been established since 1968 and in 2008 will celebrate 40 years of dancing.Our troupe has a reputation of being one of the premier morris dancing troupe of its kind in the area. This is key to contemporary folk performance. Well, for me, girls’ morris represents an important space for self-organisation and creativity. (2002) National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life, Berg. Luton Stars Morris Dancing was established in 2003 by Suey Woodward. 46 talking about this. Our troupe trains dancers of all ages with girls as young as three through to young women of twenty-six. Early folk dance scholars were often dismissive of girls’ carnival morris. Later on, I attend weekly competitions hosted in out-of-town sports halls and suburban community centres, and am almost overwhelmed by the popularity and vibrance of this female-led tradition, conducted largely under-the-radar of the English folk movement in which I came of age. In many ways, girls’ morris superficially bears little resemblance to the better-known ‘traditional’ morris performance of the English folk revival. function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){} d.write('')})(); The dance requires at least two people, but any number can join in. The troupe is run primarly by our troupe principal Beverley Collins and her friend and assistant principal Pauline Prytharch and mid-dinky trainer Lorraine Timpson. Sharp, Cecil. This is brilliant James – just shared it on Twitter and Facebook: https://twitter.com/FolkloreThurs/status/834372848689016832 Not sure what Morris is about in the area now. At the same time, girls’ morris dancing had—and continues to—visibly evolve, Maud Karpeles suggesting that, ‘instead of adhering to the traditional mode of dancing, [girls’ morris troupes] have been tempted to introduce new features and develop the dance on lines that are calculated to win the approbation of the judge and the audience’ (Karpeles, 1930: 5) while Daniel Howison and Bernard Bentley asserted that it had ‘almost entirely lost touch with its traditional roots’ (1960: 44). The map below shows where all Morris Ring member sides are based (both in the UK and overseas). Some snapshots reveal a performance in action; teams of girls in matching uniforms carrying crepe paper pom-poms, marching high-kneed in street parades and dancing in formation on crowded carnival grounds. Morris dancer David Young, who has been dancing with the troupe for the past seven years, said he was disgusted that folk dancers were treated ‘like yobs’. Valencia Morris Dancers to me were the most fascinating troupe to watch. (1960, 1986) ’The North-West morris – a general survey,’ Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Vol. Buckland, Theresa. Singing with the Kibbo Kift. (function() { 19, English Folk Dance and Song Society. The web page for Hemlock Morris, a morris dancing side from Bedford, Bedfordshire, UK. All Hael! Edensor, Tim. 23, No. Glad to come across this and see you doing well: it’s well written so a reader who doesn’t automatically relate to it (me!) utmx_section("Legacy Footer"). Copyright© 2009  LEIGH WEST PARK MORRIS DANCING TROUPE, var _gaq = _gaq || []; Danced primarily by girls and young women, it is characterised by heavily embellished costumes, pom-poms (‘shakers’) and precise, synchronous footwork—the ‘pas de basque’—choreographed to recorded pop music. Let us know if you find any groups performing in Liverpool or Wirral in future though, as would love to go along. Often overlooked in accounts of English morris dancing, girls’ (carnival) morris is a highly competitive, team formation dance popular in the Northwest of England and parts of North Wales. We practice at St.Marys church Wellington road rhyl on Tuesday and Thursdays 5 til 8pm depending on age. Sharonettes Morris Dancers are an established Morris Dancing Troupe who have been going since 1980. It is continually changing to meet the needs of its practitioners. Its main participants are primary- and secondary-school-aged girls and young women . Dommett, Roy. http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-bootle-may-day-demonstration-and-crowning-of-the-may-queen-1903-1903/, https://twitter.com/FolkloreThurs/status/834372848689016832, British Folklore: The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green, All Hael! We are always on the look-out for new dancers, if you’ve danced before or haven’t danced before in your life, come and give it a go!! We were aware of carnival morris, e.g. Our Troupe is based at Edna Rd Labour Club in Leigh and we hold a full practise session for all our girls on Tuesday nights, we then go to our competitions generally on Sundays. (1993)The Imagined Village: Culture, Ideology and the English Folk Revival, Manchester University Press. })(); ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? This year alone, the troupe has won an incredible eight trophies at the younger end of Greater Manchester Morris Dancing Association (GMMDA) competitions, which places the Salford troupe as the best in the county. 1,  pp.42 – 55. I’ve seen a group for women in Heswall I think, but that’s it as far as I know – a shame! Perhaps girls’ morris can provide a site through which to re-evaluate the boundaries of morris dancing; one that also enables us to give new meaning to a range of contemporary cultural products—even those not currently or readily recognised as ‘folk’. No content from this site may be used elsewhere without the permission of either #FolkloreThursday or the article author. Morris was historically gendered male (Sharp, 1912: 42) and women’s participation—where it was acknowledged at all—was typically portrayed as a substitution, or borrowing from the men’s dance. Although from time to time we do dance with other organisations. We have our own bus which operates a pick-up and drop-off service on competition days and it serves as secure base for the day for girls getting changed and storing our equipment. A huge thank you to all of our official sponsors, and everyone who pledges to keep #FolkloreThursday running! _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); var _gaq = _gaq || []; Also contributing to the neglect, the traditions of urban dwellers typically received less attention than those of their rural counterparts (Boyes, 1993; Buckland, 1991), as folklore was believed to reside more ‘authentically’ in unindustrialised places (cf. at various venues throughout the year, culminating in a Championship weekend at the end of season. Not so much a vernacular or style, nor a particular set of songs or dances or other rustic artefact; folk is participatory and dynamic and evolving and it contributes to a vital and lived sense of community and place. First practice session is free. The dance was fast with neatly choreographed moves. _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-230305-2']); Many first-time witnesses liken it to modern Irish stepdance, or mistake it for the American import, cheerleading, although girls’ morris dancing is (at least) several decades older (Adams and Bettis, 2003). Howison, Dan. If you’d like to help keep #FolkloreThursday going, do check out our Patreon page to pledge a small monthly amount to tell us you think #FolkloreThursday is great! © #FolkloreThursday 2018 Leigh West Park compete with other troupes in the North West under the main body of the North West Dancing Asscociation (N.W.D.A.) However, Mike Heaney described it as coherent with any ‘defensible definition’ of folk dancing (Heaney, 2006: 39), while Roy Dommett considered girls’ morris ‘heir to the richest of the English dance traditions’ (1986: 5). Morris dancing 'blackface' split sees group ban 'Coco-Nutters' troupe from community Clog-dancers insist makeup is a throwback to their region's ancient coal-mining history and has no racial connotations, but organisation say they can no longer be 'part of mainstream Morris community' Sharonettes Morris Dancers are an established Morris Dancing Troupe who have been going since 1980. Katie Kedward, 28, from Leeds, was … IT has been another successful year for members of Radcliffe Morisco's Morris Dancing Troupe. Over the years, we have danced in many places and at all sorts of events. It is un-institutionalised—it rarely receives external funding or support—but its participants speak of a a strong sense of community, simultaneously as members of individual troupes and as part of what is colloquially known as the wider ‘carnival world’. 11022198. Shardenaires Morris Dancing Troupe, Chorley. The Paulettes morris dancers 1971 . 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; However, despite surface dissimilarities, preliminary research indicates that girls’ morris dancing shares key aspects of its history with other forms of North West morris, with roots in the popular town carnival movement, of the mid-19th to late 20th century, at which troupes of ‘morris dancers’, male and female, single and coed, were a prominent feature. Revolution Morris Dancers founded in 2011 based in Ainsdale are a friendly non-profit organistaion. Boyes, Georgina. What then, is the case for reevaluating girls’ morris dancing as an aspect of English folk dance? Then we would all end up on some field, where we would perform in turn our Morris Dancing routines. We train on Tuesday evenings from 6pm til 8:30pm at The Greenbrow Social for over 13's and Thursday evenings at The Lifestyle from 5:30pm til 7pm for under 13's. Your Privacy, Dr Lucy Wright is an artist and ethnomusicologist, currently employed as Research Associate on the AHRC-funded. _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'none']); I recall doing longsword at a school fete in Liverpool and but also on the programme watching was a team of girls doing carnival morris to prerecorded folk tunes. var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; Interesting. (1986) Roy Dommett’s Morris Notes, CDSS of America. 1 talking about this. 375 likes. Girls’ morris dancing—sometimes described as ‘carnival’ or ‘fluffy’ morris, but known simply as ‘morris’ or ‘troupe’ dancing in the communities of which it is a part—is a highly competitive team formation dance from the Northwest of England and parts of North Wales. We organise a lot of out of dancing activities and events to provide everybody with a sense of belonging and team spirit, such as sponsored walks, we even painted our own bus...!!!!!! Our troupe trains dancers of all ages with girls as young as three through to young women of twenty-six. _gaq.push(['gwo._setAccount', 'UA-230305-28']); It is a Very successful Morris Dancing Troupe that frequently win weekly competitions & end of year championships. ... NB/ Morris teams are excluded the minimum attendance due to Manecco not holding enough Morris events but this will be reviewed on an annual basis • Any teams wishing to leave an event before the results are given, must be given permission by the Secretary or official in charge. ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? (www.sheffield.ac.uk/music/staff/academic/lucy-wright). We practise every Tuesday from 6.45pm at Edna Road Labour Club, or if you want to get in touch e-mail us at :-, Pauline                 Lorraine           Troupe Principal Bev. (function() { As time goes on I take new photographs of my own, attend troupe practices and events, and even occasionally join in. _gaq.push(['gwo._setDomainName', 'none']); Implements such as sticks, swords and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers. Ethnomusicologist and artist, Dr Lucy Wright reflects on her ongoing fieldwork within the  girls’ Morris community …. More recently, I came across a BFI film from 1903 showing a team of boys dancing in a style very recognisable as a “north west male morris dance” but with elements of carnival morris (e.g dancing in white pumps) – see http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-bootle-may-day-demonstration-and-crowning-of-the-may-queen-1903-1903/. At the end of the season, a championship event crowns each organisation’s Troupe of the Year. Heaney, Mike. _gaq.push(['gwo._trackPageview', '/2354831680/test']); Girls’ morris dancing—sometimes called ‘carnival’ or ‘fluffy’ morris—is a highly competitive team formation dance, performed in the Northwest of England and parts of North Wales. The Salford Stars Morris Troupe started in Charlestown almost thirty ago and now takes part in competitions all over the North West. (2003) Cheerleader: An American Icon, Palgrave Macmillan. Morris dancing is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. I spend more than 18 months researching and making work about girls’ morris dancing. Company registered in England & Wales, no. var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); The following week, rehearsals begin again from scratch. The following two tabs change content below. It is rarely showcased at folk events or festivals. Shardenaires morris dancing troupe is a non profit troupe everyone is welcome. Specsavers in Norris Green has joined other key businesses in the local area to save the fate of the community’s 37 year old Morris Dancing Troupe. })(); Further dedicated study is required to chart the history of girls’ morris, but my time in the community makes it plain that the performance played an important role in the lives of many girls and women. Revolution Morris Dance Troupe, Southport. Similarly, or perhaps for this reason, few of the girls’ morris dancers I have worked with straightforwardly relate to the broader English morris dancing canon, and the performance has continued to grow without recourse to the recurrent cycles of extinction and resurgence more associated with the folk movement. Perhaps even more importantly, it represents a vibrant, living tradition, which has sidestepped recurrent cycles of extinction and revival common to  many dominant narratives of folk performance. (2006) An Introductory Bibliography on Morris Dancing, Third Edition, Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Leaflet No. Leigh West Park Morris Dancing Troupe has been established since 1968 and in 2008 will celebrate 40 years of dancing.Our troupe has a reputation of being one of the premier morris dancing troupe of its kind in the area. Orcadia Morris Dancers (formerly Ormskirk Morris Dancers) from Skelmersdale in West Lancashire were established in 1982. Performers are organised into ‘lines’ by age and ability, and travel across the region to compete in weekly events as part of  local and cross-county carnival organisations. In some cases this is an approximate location but in most it is the place where the side meets to practice. 26 likes. _gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]); We would start off in a straight line marching with hands on our hips to music, then split off into various dance routines. 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