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Author Topic: American morris sides: who? where?  (Read 4367 times)

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Christopher K.

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American morris sides: who? where?
« on: November 06, 2010, 09:15:16 PM »

In the US, you don't hear much about morris dancing but I won't resign myself to believing that it's completely absent. I'm especially interested in any sides west of the Mississippi, but anywhere, really. Does such a thing exist? Google turned up a few hits, but not much. If there are American sides I'd be interested to know where they are, who they are, and where they perform! Any commentary on the difficulty or nature of same is also appreciated. Thanks.
Chris

Ollie

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 09:17:50 PM »

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Christopher K.

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2010, 09:32:00 PM »

This is what I get for ignoring a wiki.   :|glug

Thank you!

edit:

No activity in Utah, which is hardly surprising.

And this from the Maroon Bells website, Colorado:

"We practice at 7:30 P.M. on Wednesdays at Jazzercise - 11934 Washington St, Northglenn, CO. See the map below (which may be slow to load). Jazzersize is in the northeast corner of the shopping center."

Lol.
Yes. American, indeed.  ;D
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 10:11:04 PM by cpsmart »
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2010, 09:11:13 PM »

We were invited to the Marlborough Ale, up in Vermont a few years back.
We met some sides from NY and around the north eastern side, and Toronto too, then popped into NY itself to dance. That was a great time! We came away with wonderful memories......
It seemed from this side of the pond there were a surprising number of sides over there, and also fully acknowledged there's some good dancing in the states.
Just get googling!
cheers
Q
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Howard Jones

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 08:55:41 AM »

Many years ago, while Greyhounding around the States, I ended up in Boston where I fell in with some local folkies.  To cut a long story short, I ended up going out on a day of dance with the Black Jokers, in borrowed kit and playing a borrowed concertina.

We were dancing in Salem (where they burn witches) when a bemused member of the audience asked me what was going on.   I explained it was traditional morris dancing from England.  He looked at me in disbelief, despite my obvious English accent, and said, "Nah, the English would never dress like that".

TomB-R

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 01:05:51 PM »

White Rats of San Francisco.

Self described as "the world's first queer/pervert/leather Morris team."
(Mind you, they were at Graham's birthday day-of-dance in (old) Hampshire a few years back.)

http://www.whiteratsmorris.org/
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Ollie

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 10:54:01 PM »

Well, that solves the problem of bell pads...  :o
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GbH

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 11:24:21 PM »

Well, that solves the problem of bell pads...  :o

Ugh!  Noooooooo!
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accordion criminal

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 03:02:08 AM »

From the whiterats site:

Job: Musician, plays the button accordian
         "Mr. Hohner wouldn't have put them there unless he
          wanted me to use them..."

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Andrew Culwell

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 03:39:18 PM »

As a resident of this fair city at one time and having grown up near and in San Francisco I feel I can rightfully say that only in that city would you find a Morris Side that has the following as part of it's story:

Pretty quickly we were dancing at small sex parties and large sex parties and SM-related street fairs and fund-raising events and ritual sm performances. (Our first public performance was at a winter solstice-type sex party where I had gotten through half gyp, hands around, and back to back before I figured out that the thing I kept having to duck was a woman tied up as a mistltoe ball and suspended from the ceiling.) We've acted as half-time entertainment/security crew; we've "opened the space" (a supposedly ritual term whose meaning has always escaped me) for various events, and performed morris as a sort of magical dance underneath a woman who was suspended from the ceiling by rows of hooks embedded down her back and legs, while ball-dancers bounced happily around us.

Not sure you would be interested in this Side Chris!
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Ollie

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 06:43:49 PM »

 :o 

That is all.
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Christopher K.

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2010, 03:55:52 AM »

Yes, I'll pass on the White Rats. :|glug

It reminds me of a Miami "biker gang" that occasionally made the news in South Florida. Said gang is comprised of men of a certain, erm, persuasion. They like to dress up in the whole leather chaps/chains/Village People getup and then descend en masse to the area's roughest bars. The catch is that they ride pastel colored Vespas instead of Harleys.

I would like to get involved in some morris activity out here (Utah), but really don't know much about morris aside from learning some common morris tunes. It looks like tons of fun, though. The people are surprisingly receptive to folk music although the only musicians I've met thus far are guitarists and a banjo player. Country and bluegrass seem big. We'd be the only side in the state from what I can tell.

Andrew Culwell

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2010, 04:09:17 AM »

Just how many Mormons do you know that might be interested in Morris?   ::)
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Christopher K.

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2010, 04:33:32 PM »

Some parts of the culture here have been a shock - like the widespread aversion to coffee and rated R films -- but otherwise it's not a whole lot different than living in the bible belt was. I take that back, living in Tallahassee and western NC, strangers were uniformly friendlier than they seem to be here but I can't say that's linked to a religion.

In that regard I don't think it would be that difficult to collect a few interested people to get something started, but finding musicians or people who listen to/appreciate/play the same music that I do has been the real challenge. That's my first obstacle. The second is learning about morris myself.  (:) I'm at the bottom of the learning curve, thousands of miles from England!
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 04:36:02 PM by cpsmart »
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Lester

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2010, 05:00:05 PM »

Some parts of the culture here have been a shock - like the widespread aversion to coffee and rated R films -- but otherwise it's not a whole lot different than living in the bible belt was. I take that back, living in Tallahassee and western NC, strangers were uniformly friendlier than they seem to be here but I can't say that's linked to a religion.

In that regard I don't think it would be that difficult to collect a few interested people to get something started, but finding musicians or people who listen to/appreciate/play the same music that I do has been the real challenge. That's my first obstacle. The second is learning about morris myself.  (:) I'm at the bottom of the learning curve, thousands of miles from England!

I am available to teach Morris, all I need is first class air fare and a really good hotel   ;D

stevejay

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2010, 11:44:59 PM »

I think many Americans get exposure to Morris dancing at Renaissance/Medieval festivals, which is not to say they know what they are watching... :-\

Here in Massachusetts, the dancing and playing looks like what you would expect. They do not make a mockery of the whole thing.
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Andy in Vermont

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2010, 04:05:06 AM »

Here in Massachusetts, the dancing and playing looks like what you would expect. They do not make a mockery of the whole thing.

Thanks for saying that -- it's true for New England.

malcolmbebb

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2010, 11:11:37 AM »

In the US, you don't hear much about morris dancing

Since nobody here seems to have done the dirty deed, perhaps I could refer you to the Morris Dance Discussion List (MDDL - pronounced Muddle), to which a number of American sides are known to contribute.

http://mddl.blogspot.com/  has some contact info.

White Rats are represented... It has the usual mailing list joys of useful information, periods of inactivity, topic drift and flame wars but might be a good place to enquire further.

As an aside, Morris does seem to get more respect in the US (and other lapsed colonies) than in the UK.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2010, 07:56:04 PM »

Andy - of course, just twigged. You're possibly near the Marlboro Ale I mentioned up there ^^^ , at.....Marlboro!
Have you ever been?
Before we went over one of us said that they ( US ) sides took it seriously and really watched. He'd seen sides being appluaded for a good Half Gyp. I took this with a pinch of salt, but it is true! They really do watch every aspect of your performance and truely take it seriously.
I remember dancing in NY city and a local came up to me and started chatting. She simply thanked me for dancing on *her* home spot, and told me she felt extrmemly honoured.
I was stunned.
I'm used to being told to 'go away' but in more robust forms.....or get driven at by a 4/4 in a hurry and who couldn't possibly wait!!!!!
my thrupennce
Q
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Re: American morris sides: who? where?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2010, 01:57:23 PM »

Since nobody here seems to have done the dirty deed, perhaps I could refer you to the Morris Dance Discussion List (MDDL - pronounced Muddle), to which a number of American sides are known to contribute.

http://mddl.blogspot.com/  has some contact info.

I was on that years ago. It's an institution that's older than the world wide web. You'll still find references to the famous Angel Morris Men of Islington in its on line archives, and all sorts of tat posted by yours truly.
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