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Author Topic: What is Morris?  (Read 21284 times)

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Bill Young

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2007, 04:08:48 PM »

I have only one CD of what is maybe Morris music. It has a title something like "English Folk Dance Society - Cotswold Vol 1 - The Music of Cry Havoc". Can any knowledgeable English person confirm whether this is a) Morris; b) representative; c) considered good? I find it quite enjoyable, anyway.

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Dazbo

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2007, 04:50:38 PM »

I have only one CD of what is maybe Morris music. It has a title something like "English Folk Dance Society - Cotswold Vol 1 - The Music of Cry Havoc". Can any knowledgeable English person confirm whether this is a) Morris; b) representative; c) considered good? I find it quite enjoyable, anyway.

Happy New Year to all!

Yes it's cotswold morris (doesn't fee of this parish play for them now?).  I've not listened to it in a long time but I think it's fairly representative of cotswold morris and you can even hear the dancing and calling.  A good representation I think.
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Darren

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2007, 05:02:44 PM »

In performance the dancers may be accompanied by a number of supernumery figures such as a fool, a betsy, a sword and cake bearer and one or more figures with melodeons strapped to their chests.  These are all purely ceremonial and none of them has any direct effect on the dancing.  It used to be thought that the melodeon bearers indicated when the dance should start with the traditional words "which one is it?" but field observation has failed to bear this out, and there is some evidence to suggest that the dancers are actually trying to dance in time to the cake.  This doesn't mean that the melodeons are silent however, they have an important sonic function, namely drowning out any fiddles or pipe-and-tabors that might otherwise disrupt the proceedings.  The melodeon bearers are traditionally classified as 'beginners' or 'experts' depending on whether their instruments come from Germany or Italy respectively. 

I hope this helps, there's a lot of misinformation about, you know.
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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2007, 05:18:39 PM »

It used to be thought that the melodeon bearers indicated when the dance should start with the traditional words "which one is it?" but field observation has failed to bear this out .....
Not sure where you are, but here in the Peoples' Republic of South Yorkshire, the traditional words of the musicians (especially melodeon players) are "Wot 'r we dooin' nah?", closely followed by "'Ow's it go? Singitus!" and "Izzitin dee or gee?"
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 05:23:37 PM by Steve_freereeder »
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Ollie

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2007, 05:23:57 PM »

This may also help  ;)  ::) or not....

The Morris dance is common to all inhabited worlds in the multiverse.

It is danced under blue skies to celebrate the quickening of the soil and under bare stars because it's springtime and with any luck the carbon dioxide will unfreeze again. The imperative is felt by deep-sea beings who have never seen the sun and urban humans whose only connection with the cycles of nature is that their Volvo once ran over a sheep.

It is danced innocently by raggedy-bearded young mathematicians to an inexpert accordion rendering of "Mrs Widgery's Lodger" and ruthlessly by such as the Ninja Morris Men of New Ankh, who can do strange and terrible things with a simple handkerchief and a bell.

And it is never danced properly.

Except on the Discworld, which is flat and supported on the backs of four elephants which travel through space on the shell of Great A'Tuin, the world turtle.

And even there, only in one place have they got it right. It's a small village high in the Ramtop Mountains, where the big and simple secret is handed down across the generations.

There, the men dance on the first day of spring, backwards and forwards, bells tied under their knees, white shirts flapping. People come and watch. There's an ox roast afterwards, and it's generally considered a nice day out for all the family.

But that isn't the secret.

The secret is the other dance.

And that won't happen for a while yet.


 ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 09:14:04 PM by Ollie »
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trombonetom

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2007, 07:14:21 PM »

WHITE SHIRTS SHOULD NOT BE FLAPPING! GRRRRR! THEY SHOULD BE TUCKED IN.

"Which one is it?" seems to be a popular question in my morris side, along with "Is it in D or G?", the latter being almost exclusively asked by me.
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Lester

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2007, 08:21:04 PM »

The melodeon bearers are traditionally classified as 'beginners' or 'experts' depending on whether their instruments come from Germany or Italy respectively..

Mines French where does it leave me?

Ollie

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2007, 09:14:50 PM »

WHITE SHIRTS SHOULD NOT BE FLAPPING! GRRRRR! THEY SHOULD BE TUCKED IN.


Um...you do realise that that was a Discworld quote....by Terry Pratchett...
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Lester

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2007, 09:18:08 PM »

WHITE SHIRTS SHOULD NOT BE FLAPPING! GRRRRR! THEY SHOULD BE TUCKED IN.


Um...you do realise that that was a Discworld quote....by Terry Pratchett...

Maybe he should not shout then   :)

Pushpull

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2007, 10:10:37 PM »

WHITE SHIRTS SHOULD NOT BE FLAPPING! GRRRRR! THEY SHOULD BE TUCKED IN.


I would rather watch this lot, shirts flapping, than many "more traditional" sides with shirts tucked in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1xrEfTbSZw&mode=related&search=

Roy.
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trombonetom

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2008, 11:27:30 AM »

WHITE SHIRTS SHOULD NOT BE FLAPPING! GRRRRR! THEY SHOULD BE TUCKED IN.


Um...you do realise that that was a Discworld quote....by Terry Pratchett...

I do realise that. They're good books, but shirts should definitely be tucked in. Also, sorry about the shouting, I got a bit carried away :(
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trombonetom

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2008, 11:30:22 AM »

WHITE SHIRTS SHOULD NOT BE FLAPPING! GRRRRR! THEY SHOULD BE TUCKED IN.


I would rather watch this lot, shirts flapping, than many "more traditional" sides with shirts tucked in.


Very good dancing, but I still think that their shirts should be tucked in. Of course, it's just my opinion.
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TomB-R

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2008, 11:52:14 AM »

Comparing Pecsaetan (Youtube clip above) with other sides seems a bit unfair, after all, they're clearly not bound by normal rules of gravity....
http://www.pecsaetan.co.uk/gallery

(And anyway, surely you'd sooner watch a bunch of hairy old characters who are out of time and have half-forgotten the dance....)
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Lester

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2008, 02:40:33 PM »

Comparing Pecsaetan (Youtube clip above) with other sides seems a bit unfair, after all, they're clearly not bound by normal rules of gravity....
That will be the rule that if you are 50+, 18 stone + and unfit it is hard to get in the air let alone stay there :-(

TomB-R

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2008, 04:57:51 PM »

That will be the rule that if you are 50+, 18 stone + and unfit it is hard to get in the air let alone stay there :-(

So simple when you put it as clearly as that....
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Pushpull

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2008, 09:35:12 PM »

Comparing Pecsaetan (Youtube clip above) with other sides seems a bit unfair, after all, they're clearly not bound by normal rules of gravity....

Hmm. I think there's a lot more to Pecsaeten than how high they caper. Those of us on the wrong side (?) of 50 could possibly learn a thing or two from them about "ensemble".

Roy.
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TomB-R

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2008, 11:05:35 PM »

Hmm. I think there's a lot more to Pecsaeten than how high they caper. Those of us on the wrong side (?) of 50 could possibly learn a thing or two from them about "ensemble".

Roy.

Aye, sure enough.
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BruceHenderson

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2008, 04:03:17 PM »

Please explain to me (in simple words) what is Morris (dancing).  (snip) 

   No, no, Risto.  You don't want to know anything about Morris!  It's all about beerguts (and beerbutts), scraggly balding grey hair pulled back into ponytails, way too much beer at any one given time, greying beards and the sort of people who smoke little bent meerschaum pipes and talk too loudly because you're obviously not as smart as they are.  You don't want to have anything to with them.  And the men are worse.  ;)
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Theo

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2008, 04:21:46 PM »

the sort of people who smoke little bent meerschaum pipes and talk too loudly because you're obviously not as smart as they are.

Bruce you forgot about the pewter tankards clipped onto the belt!

I don't play for, or dance Morris and for years I thought it was a load of twaddle (for the reasons Bruce gives) until I saw same really great, young, athletic dancers doing stuff in the Cotswold tradition.  That was a complete revelation.  Leaps so high the dancers seem to hang in the air, and the musicians have to pause while they wait for the feet to get back to earth.  Magic :D
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Ollie

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Re: What is Morris?
« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2008, 04:25:45 PM »

Could someone please explain to me the Bampton hand movements. I need to know my Monday. You see, they taught me the footwork, but not the hands!

Cheers

Ollie
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