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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
folk1234 Help me undestand Morris Dancing (79* d) RE: Help me undestand Morris Dancing 27 Sep 99

'Twas just moments after the silent setting of the sun and the pinewood forest was awash in the hush of early eve. However in the dance pavilion the contradancers and the musicians were alive with the buoyant lilt and lift of the moment. Suddnely the music stilled, as someone shouted in disbelief, "Hark, hear it, over here". All scurried in urgent concern to the South side of the pavillion and listened... listened.... then heard... perhaps heard, the faint mystical call of small pipes and flute. The sound faded, then returned, then faded. A strange silence fell over the contradancers and musicians as they now all heard and felt the slow, haunting, and hair-raising notes of the distant music. Then from the black pinewood, barely heard over the music, came a faint clicking sound. The clicking was preceeded by mutted crash, then again the clicking. Suddenly the pinewood came alive as into the clearing came 6 or 8 deer, all with great stand of horn. As if on cue, they rushed a selected opponent, horns crashed in furious impact, then the horns clicked as the beasts pirouetted in graceful, dance-like battle. Once again, as if on cue, they disengaged and retreated. Again and again the rush, the crash, the gentle ballet, and then repose as the haunting music became louder. In an instant the beast carried their battle into the black velvet of pinewood night. Suddenly, into the clearing danced a beautiful maiden followed by the hunters, the piper and the flutist. All danced to the slow, mystical music as they pursued their prey, still heard in the distant pinewood dark. In a momment they too were gone with the exception of the evil-eyed jester who danced in clumsy parody. Then he too was swallowed by the night. As the sound of battle and music faded the contradancers and musicians stared in wide-eyed gaze and in dream-like trance at now empty clearing. Or, what had they seen? What was it they heard? None had ever before witnessed such battle and dance, violent, yet beautiful. And the music, it was from far away and long ago. As the music faded, it soon seemed to be coming from all around. All rushed, or were drawn by forces unknown, to the North side of the pavilion. Some who arrived first later claimed to have once again seen the hunters, others claimed also to have seen the deer. Still no one moved nor spoke as the black curtain of night once again fell on the pinewood forest. THIS IS HOW I REMEMBER THE ABBOT'S BROMLEY DANCE FROM FOLKMUSIC WEEK AT PINEWOODS CAMP IN 1990. I SHALL NEVER FORGET IT.

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