MORRIS SHORTS - Brief news from the world of Morris - Updated February 2019

All My Life’s Buried Here – The Story of George Butterworth

The Diss Corn Hall will be showing this new documentary film about George Butterworth, the English composer, Morris dancer and folk song collector who was killed in 1916 at Pozières, France during the Battle of the Somme aged just 31. In the chaos of war Butterworth was buried where he fell and his remains were never subsequently identified.

The film will be shown on Wednesday 27th February 2019 at 10.30am and at 7.30pm.  Following each performance there will be a Q & A session with the director Stewart Hajdukiewicz

A trailer for the film is available at www.georgebutterworth.co.uk

Tickets are available from the Corn Hall box office.

Read more: MORRIS SHORTS - Brief news from the world of Morris - Updated February 2019

Dancing at the Ely Folk Festival July 2019

Ely Parade 2

  Last year 6 Hageneth men danced at Ely Folk Festival. It was a pretty close thing. Minutes before we were due to dance we only had 5 men and no musician. A sixth man arrived in time and we borrowed musicians from Bury Fair and Coton. Our musician arrived in time for the second dance.

  This year Hageneth did not have a side but Gill’s side, Haughley Hoofers, were booked to dance at Ely on the Sunday and Gill and I decided to camp for the weekend.

Read more: Dancing at the Ely Folk Festival July 2019

Morris Dancers protest in Parliament Square

Rochester Sweeps Protest; Photo by Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

If you’re a Morris Dancer looking for something to protest about tomorrow (23rd July 2019) and don’t fancy making a fuss about the (s)election of our new Prime Minister, and Extinction Rebellion is not your cup of tea you may wish to join the protest by Morris Dancers in Parliament Square. 

Read more: Morris Dancers protest in Parliament Square

The 2019 Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival.

Whittlesea Festival - Part 2

The festival dance programme began at the Manor Leisure Centre at 10.30am on Saturday morning with the spectacle, music and colour of the procession of morris sides led by the Straw Bear and his “driver".

Read more: The 2019 Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival.

Updated! Morris Autumn & Winter Tours 2018 - 2019

There may be other sides performing in the area who have not contacted us.  Contacts for morris and clog sides appear elsewhere in Morris On!  If planning to see a performance please check with the contact or website beforehand as sometimes, for unavoidable reasons, performances are cancelled or re-arranged.

 GROUP(S)

DAY

DATE

VENUE/EVENT

TOWN/VILLAGE

OG

Sat

26th Jan 2019

Dance England, Nottingham Playhouse

Nottingham

OW

Sat

26th Jan 2019

10.30 6pm Mark Jones Day of Dance (see side website)

Ely, Cambs

OM

Sat

30th Mar 2019

Oxblood Molly 5th Day of Dance (see side website) with other invited sides

Halesworth, Suffolk

BMM

Sun

28th April 2019

12.30 St Georges Day Celebrations, Rose & Crown, with many other sides from Suffolk & further afield

Hundon, Suffolk

 

Key                 TBC = to be confirmed            TBA = time to be arranged

BMM = Belchamp Morris Men (Cotswold and Border)

OG = Old Glory Molly Dancers and Musicians (Molly)

OM = Oxblood Molly (Molly)

OW = Ouse Washes Molly Dancers (Molly)

 

The (new) Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival is 40 years old

 

Background to the Straw Bear Festival

The Straw Bear is a very old fenland icon which goes back well into the nineteenth century at the very least.  Straw Bear parades took place on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Epiphany or Twelfth Night; the day when local farm workers were supposed to return to their work, ploughing the land. 

The Straw Bear dances in the Market Place, Whittlesea January 2016

As they had not been working or paid during the Christmas holidays the agricultural workers and “ploughboys” toured the locality to perform molly dances, plough-plays or sing and entertain with acts of “mischief” and would beg for money.  To avoid recognition, they would black their faces to disguise themselves as their aim was essentially to intimidate in order to obtain money: those refusing to donate would have some trick played upon them.  In her book “Fenland Chronicle” (Sybil Marshall, 1963) she recounts that her mother, had told her “very often these were real nasty tricks, and they’d wait until Plough Monday to get their own back on somebody what had done them some injury during the year” for example, they would plough up a doorway or take gates off their hinges so that the livestock escaped.

The Straw Bear is not exclusively a Whittlesea custom and some of the earliest newspaper reports date from 1880 where in Ramsey, a few miles south of Whittlesea there are reports of an “individual dressed from top to toe in straw … (who) capered before the houses … to the merry strains of the accordion”

Read more: The (new) Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival is 40 years old

Maypole Re-mixed

 
 
 
Breaking News; - deadline of 11th May extended by EFDSS following Mardles appeal
"I will definitely extend the deadline for applications - we don't want anyone to miss the opportunity.  We really hope we can get a number of young folk dancers to be part of this project". Cassie Tait, Education Manager, English Folk Dance and Song Society

Call for young dancers: Maypole Remixed outdoor dance event

Mardles.org has just received this call for young dancers to appear in Ipswich on 14th July. You can apply as a dance group, or an individual, by completing the expression of interest form on the website by Friday 11 May.  The press release from EFDSS was only released on 25th April and invites young dancers (12 -19 years or up to 25 years for dancers with special needs) to perform as part of the U.Dance 2018 annual dance festival. 

U.Dance 2018

The dancers will perform a new dance work centred on a maypole created by Folk Dance Remixed.  Maypole Remixed will celebrate some of the old and new dance and music cultural heritages to be found in the region - fusing traditional folk dance styles from the East of England with contemporary hip hop dance and especially commissioned recorded and live music.
 
To be included dancers must commit to attending all the rehearsal and performance dates below. Travel bursaries are available.
 
There will be three creative workshops and rehearsals with professional dancers and live musicians, leading to two outdoor performances on Saturday 14 July as part of the U.Dance 2018 festival. 

Rehearsals

Sunday, 24 June, 1 July and 8 July
10.30am–4.30pm (tbc)
Chantry Academy, Mallard Way, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 9LR

Performances

Saturday 14 July
The Waterfront and one other outdoor location in Ipswich, times tbc
 
For more information please contact the webpage and online form for applications to the project.
 
Direct link to form:
 
Dave Evans
9th May 2018
 
 
 

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