Presentation on theme: "* Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures."— Presentation transcript:
* Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Things such as sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells may also be wielded by the dancers. In a small number of dances for one or two men, steps are performed near and across a pair of clay tobacco pipes laid across each other on the floor. * Claiming that English records, dating back to 1448, mention the morris dance are open to dispute. There is no mention of "morris" dancing earlier than the late 15th century, although early records such as Bishops "Visitation Articles" mention sword dancing, and other dancing activities as well as mumming plays. Furthermore, the earliest records invariably mention "Morys" in a court setting, and both men and women are mentioned as dancing. Later it began to be mentioned as something performed in the parishes. There is certainly no evidence that it is a pre-Christian ritual, as is often claimed.
* The term is derived from moorish dance, then known as Morisk dance or moreys daunce, morisse daunce in the mid-15th century. The spelling Morris-dance appears in the 17th century. Comparable terms in other languages are German Moriskentanz (also from the 15th century), French morisques, Croatian moreška, and moresco, moresca or morisca in Italy and Spain. Another theory is that it derives from the Romanian "morişca", which means "little mill". * By 1492 Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille succeeded in throwing the Moors out of Spain and unifying the country. To celebrate this event the pageant known as a Moresca was created and performed.
* Today, there are six predominant styles of morris dancing, and different dances or traditions within each style named after their region of origin. Cotswold morris: kind of dance from Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire areas; it is a misnomer since the Cotswolds overlap this region only partially. Normally it is danced with handkerchiefs or sticks to accompany the hand movements. North West morris: more military in style and often processional. Border Morris from the English-Welsh border: a simpler, looser, more vigorous style, normally danced with blackened faces (or sometimes coloured). Longsword dancing from Yorkshire and south Durham. Rapper or Short sword dancing from Northumberland. Molly Dancing from the English Midlands and East Anglia.
* Music was traditionally provided by either a pipe and tabor, or a fiddle. These are still used today, but the most common instrument is the melodeon. Accordions and concertinas are also common, and other instruments are sometimes used. Often drums are used, too. * Cotswold and sword dances are most often danced solo, but Northwest and Border sides often have a band, and usually use a drum.
* Before the English Civil War, the working peasantry took part in Morris dances, especially at Whitsun. In 1600 the Shakespearean actor William Kemp Morris danced from London to Norwich, an event chronicled in his Nine Daies Wonder (1600). The Puritan government of Oliver Cromwell, however, suppressed Whitsun Ales and other such festivities. When the crown was restored by Charles II, the springtime festivals were restored. In particular, Whitsun Ales came to be celebrated on Whitsunday, as the date coincided with the birthday of Charles II.