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Strictly Come Folk Dancing?

The Borchester Echo 26 May 07 - 04:42 AM
sian, west wales 26 May 07 - 04:59 AM
Linda Kelly 26 May 07 - 05:13 AM
sian, west wales 26 May 07 - 05:19 AM
Surreysinger 26 May 07 - 06:17 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 May 07 - 06:28 AM
Richard Bridge 26 May 07 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,Ian cookiless 26 May 07 - 07:26 AM
sian, west wales 26 May 07 - 10:49 AM
Surreysinger 26 May 07 - 06:42 PM
Surreysinger 26 May 07 - 07:14 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 May 07 - 08:21 PM
Surreysinger 26 May 07 - 09:57 PM
Liz the Squeak 27 May 07 - 03:21 AM
Compton 27 May 07 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 27 May 07 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,ian cookieless 27 May 07 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 27 May 07 - 04:57 PM
GUEST, Topsie 02 Jun 07 - 04:18 AM
SylviaN 02 Jun 07 - 05:36 AM
Tradsinger 02 Jun 07 - 11:29 AM
sian, west wales 02 Jun 07 - 12:53 PM
GUEST, Topsie 03 Jun 07 - 06:51 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 Jun 07 - 06:59 AM
johnadams 03 Jun 07 - 07:12 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 Jun 07 - 07:22 AM
Surreysinger 03 Jun 07 - 07:34 AM
Folkiedave 03 Jun 07 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 04 Jun 07 - 08:41 AM
Snuffy 04 Jun 07 - 09:46 AM
Surreysinger 04 Jun 07 - 09:57 AM
Folkiedave 04 Jun 07 - 11:17 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 Jun 07 - 11:24 AM
Folkiedave 04 Jun 07 - 02:11 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 Jun 07 - 02:16 PM
Folkiedave 04 Jun 07 - 02:23 PM
Surreysinger 04 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM
Liz the Squeak 05 Jun 07 - 12:53 AM
Folkiedave 05 Jun 07 - 04:06 AM
Surreysinger 05 Jun 07 - 06:54 AM
Liz the Squeak 05 Jun 07 - 08:09 AM
GUEST, Topsie 05 Jun 07 - 08:15 AM
Folkiedave 05 Jun 07 - 08:22 AM
Herga Kitty 05 Jun 07 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 06 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM
Herga Kitty 07 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM
Folkiedave 07 Jun 07 - 05:31 AM
Mr Red 07 Jun 07 - 07:47 AM
Folkiedave 07 Jun 07 - 10:16 AM
Herga Kitty 08 Jun 07 - 02:45 AM
Folkiedave 08 Jun 07 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Crystal 08 Jun 07 - 05:24 AM
Snuffy 08 Jun 07 - 08:51 AM
RogerTCB 08 Jun 07 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,A Lurker 08 Jun 07 - 11:01 AM
Herga Kitty 08 Jun 07 - 02:49 PM
The Borchester Echo 08 Jun 07 - 02:57 PM
manitas_at_work 11 Jun 07 - 11:53 AM
Folkiedave 11 Jun 07 - 12:20 PM
Snuffy 12 Jun 07 - 08:34 AM
Folkiedave 12 Jun 07 - 08:51 AM
Snuffy 12 Jun 07 - 10:56 AM
Folkiedave 12 Jun 07 - 11:05 AM
Snuffy 13 Jun 07 - 04:06 AM
AlexB 13 Jun 07 - 07:43 AM
Sue the Borderer 13 Jun 07 - 11:04 AM
Herga Kitty 13 Jun 07 - 03:00 PM
Ruth Archer 13 Jun 07 - 03:10 PM
Folkiedave 13 Jun 07 - 03:46 PM
Rattler 13 Jun 07 - 07:31 PM
Folkiedave 14 Jun 07 - 05:09 AM
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Subject: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 May 07 - 04:42 AM

An item a few minutes ago on BBC R4 Saturday Live about Hurst Morris said: Dancing is for all. Fee Glover retorted that so is self-harming. She had already revealed that her intro to the item had already been scored out of the script in its entirety by the programme's editor.

The item itself was quite informative and sympathetic, but the presenters just couldn't help themselves. Given that the BBC has already vaguely considered the notion of portraying traditional dance as a visual spectacle (see thread on auditions), is there an inkling that public perception of tradarts in England may be in for a shift?

Discuss.

Saturday Live/Replayer


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 26 May 07 - 04:59 AM

I woke up to BBC4 in the middle of the item and just KNEW what was coming. I've only been awake about 20 minutes and have sent off this ... which I'll probably re-read when I've woken up and groan over. Oh well, I can always write in again with a different name and email if I need to.

*********************
I turned on Radio 4 in the middle of the Morris Dance report, thought "now this is interesting", and then waited for the programme to return to studio because I was SURE that the topic would be completely trashed by your host and guest. I was not wrong.

I am not a Morris Dancer; I don't belong to a folk dance team of any kind. But I AM fed up of the BBC constantly putting down a genre of music which is very important to society and can make a far greater contribution to current problems than many other musics.

More men participate (at community level) in folk dance than any other form of dance.

Folk festivals are the most socially and economically beneficial festivals - see Arts Council of England report.

Team dancing has benefits for social cohesion, community cultural tourism, and a whole raft of other themes the government keeps claiming are important.

I never make a point of listening to this programme - I find Ms Glover's voice is to speech what musak is to a concerto - and I won't be changing my habits in the future. It took the BBC a while to stop making denigrating remarks about email and the web (I was working in telematics at the time and I was just as annoyed about that) and you 'grew up'. Unfortunately, I don't think that will happen with folk - despite programmes like Celtic Heartbeat wiping the floor with its sister programmes in the ratings.

I despair.

S. Thomas

I would encourage people to write in. I don't think it will do much good, but ...

sian


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 26 May 07 - 05:13 AM

I am not surprised. On May Day Green Ginger Morris Men led the traditional dawn celebration on Beverley Westwood, and to be fair the BBC Look North devoted more time than usual to this, with brief interviews about the custom etc-then back to the studio and what do we get-the local moron Peter Levy, interviewing two pagan white witches, implying that all folk dance was some pseudo sexual ritual normally done in the nude. A twelve year old could have done better research and agan folk music is consigned to the fey and the weird. (some of my best friends are pagan this is not a personal attack!)


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 26 May 07 - 05:19 AM

Write in, Linda. And Countess R.

sian


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:17 AM

Errmm, yes ... I too heard the programme while languishing in the bath - possibly more information than the world actually needs to hear ... but had the horrible feeling that I knew what would be coming at the end. The snippet was interesting - although I did get the feeling that one of the participants made it all a bit too earnest, winsome and "wholesome" ... it was also somewhat Cotswold-centric. BUT, the tittering and silly remarks from the studio crowd were irritating in the extreme - even if there was an apology at a later point.

I suppose, though, that it is good that the snippet was even on the programme in the first place without any sign of May Day or other reason for it.... progress of a sort.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:28 AM

Hurst Morris (HuMP) do Cotswold because they are from Berkshire and the item was probably thus timed because it is Whit (i.e. Bampton) weekend.

I am impressed that the Saturday Live editor censored the intro script and prevented the worst of the inanities from reaching the airwaves. In the pursuit of time-wasting I am seeking out this person as a potential ally.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:39 AM

What shall we call this nascent mood of rage and assertion?

Flower Power?

The Rustic Panthers?

The Baader-Mine'sapint Gang?

Reynard Flame?

Captain Swing?

Morris Major?

That Scrumpy Emotion?

Seriously, Countess, more power to your elbow and when you find out who to shout at, I should like to know so that I can add my voice.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,Ian cookiless
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:26 AM

Email I just sent to saturdaylive@bbc.co.uk ...

Thank you for your excellent, sympathetic and informative (for those who do not already know) piece on morris dancing. It makes a nice change for morris dancing to be covered in the media in a way that does not denigrate and insult this very old and exciting English social tradition. Lots of aspects were covered well in a very short time.

How disappointing and sadly predictable, then, that Fi Glover and other correspondents fell into the default English pastime of insulting and laughing at cultural traditions they know nothing about and can't be bothered to understand or appreciate - particularly our own traditions.

Personally, I have no interest in or understanding of ballet. That does not mean I want to insult it. I wonder what the reaction would be if next week you were to sympathetically cover classical Indian dancing, followed by derisive laughter and sneering?


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 26 May 07 - 10:49 AM

Ooooo. Ian. You're so baaaad! (I like it!)

sian


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 26 May 07 - 06:42 PM

Apart from being "baaaad" I reckon your final para was neatly to the point Ian .... they wouldn't dare!! Thanks for the relevant address... I'm going to send something off now...
Irene


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 26 May 07 - 07:14 PM

Just been in and sent something off - however, the email address Ian gives doesn't want to work on its own - you need to go into the BBC's website, as far as I can see, to this link here and use the Contact us section.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 May 07 - 08:21 PM

I reached the programme with the utmost ease via their email address:

saturdaylive@bbc.co.uk

and congratulated them on the item. There is not the slightest point in 'shouting' at a producer or editor over the inane behaviour of a presenter. That's for Feedback.
Editorial content is determined not by those fronting the show but by the production team, and letting them know they've done something right will result in more of the sort programme content YOU want.

My speculation was whether public service broadcasting's stance on the tradarts was already shifting in the light of recent programming. Whingeing at production staff about the presenter will only result in demoralised planning meetings doing likewise, rather than in the generation of fresh new ideas arising from a positive response to a well-produced item.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 26 May 07 - 09:57 PM

Interesting Countess - I used that email address and got a message flashed up telling me that it wasn't possible - no problems with going into it via the actual page on the BBC site itself, though. Maybe it was a temporary glitch?

I was interested in the helpful points you have to make there. Hopefully when I emailed them I wasn't "shouting" as such ... I certainly did tell them I thought the actual item itself was interesting and well presented (although I have to admit that I did express disappointment that the initial reaction immediately afterwards was to make the usual jokey comments about a traditional art form).


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 May 07 - 03:21 AM

Try a letter to the Radio Times as well, they've printed a lot of comments about inane presenters and snide remarks in the past.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Compton
Date: 27 May 07 - 05:18 AM

I can't think that John Peel (same time slot) would have been that snide...well, I could almost guarantee it. Ms Glover is famous for snide comments!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:44 PM

Indeed, Compton, the great Peel was a quiet champion of traditional music. He did a series on trad. English music for Radio 4 a few years back. It was, as one would expect, excellent.

BTW, the email I gave above was from the BBC website, but when I tried to send the message *via* the website there was a glitch, so I sent it via an actual Outlook email. I assume it got there - it hasn't bounced back.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,ian cookieless
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:53 PM

Just successfully sent the email again via the website http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/saturdaylive/contact.shtml just to make sure they have it. Seems the glitch has gone. I hope lots of others will send emails, too. Letters to Radio Times can be sent to radio.times@bbc.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 27 May 07 - 04:57 PM

Sorry to have 3 posts in a row, but my link above to the Radio Times email takes you nowhere if you click on it, but it will work if you email to it. Please bombard them!

Ian


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 04:18 AM

I happened to have Radio 4 on just now and it included an apology - especially to Diane, Ian and Steve.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: SylviaN
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 05:36 AM

I'm really sorry that, somehow, I missed the original thread and can now only listen to this week's programme and didn't have a chance to send in an e-mail to the programme.

The apology - is it just me, or does Fi Glover manage to apologise, while still making a snide comment? To quote "I do retain the right to smirk at the appauling prospect of celebrities jiggling their bits up and down in formation wearing bells", then she apologises.

She says she "wants closure". How about challenging her to spend an evening practicing with a team? Rivington, Persephone or perhaps Stone Monkey, who won DERT this year. That would sort her out, but also show what fun is had.

Sylvia


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 11:29 AM

To my mind, what Fi said does not amount to an apology as she still managed to convey a further insult to Morris. I don't think she should get closure yet until she makes a real apology. I bet she has never even see Morris dancing but is just making the standard Pavolvian media reaction, e.g. announcer says "Morris dancing" and the audience is expected to snigger. Keep emailing her.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 12:53 PM

It occurred to me the other day that Ms Glover and cohorts are nothing but fops. Sir Percy Blakeneys without the redeeming Scarlet Pimpernel alter ego. I can well imagine that the apology was anything but. Interesting though that even a pretense was offered; sounds like the complaints had *some* effect.

so - who are Diane, Ian and Steve?

sian


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 06:51 AM

Sorry, I was typing in a hurry getting ready to go out. It was Irene (Surrey singer) not Diane. Ian was presumably the 'Ian cookieless' who also posted. Anyone admit to being Steve?


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 06:59 AM

Well, indeed, why would Ms Glover mention me?
I corresponded with the Saturday Live editor with whom production decisions lie, and requested more such items because the content was good.

Not much point in talking to whoever they hire to present. The editor can change this, and possibly will.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: johnadams
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 07:12 AM

I might be alone here but I like Fi Glover's programme, think she presents in a very entertaining style, upsets a range of people to just the right extent (including us), reacts to feedback, works with her producer to include a range of 'ordinary' people and runs the programme with some tension. I never miss it.

I don't think she measures up (who could) to Peel (and David Stafford) whose slot she replaced, but it's a much better programme than the one I was expecting.

Keep writing though! We need the free air time.

J


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 07:22 AM

Getting a member of the production team (or even a R4 suit) onto Feedback (by which I mean Roger Bolton's programme with a large F) to explain BBC policy towards tradarts would be an achievement.

I too like Ms Glover's presentation style in general. Just because she's got away (twice) with taking the piss out of something I think is important isn't a reason to condemn the whole programme. The item was good.

Sandi Toksvig did much the same with Morris dancing a few weeks ago on The Unbelievable Truth. What is very much more important is that items on tradarts are produced and we should encourage that. The presentation is far less important.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 07:34 AM

I was mentioned?? And I missed it! I heard the words "Morris dancers" at the end of something while I was in another room of the house,(well, in the bath, to be precise) but not the whole thing. Must go away to see if its on Replay.
In my email I made the point that the piece itself had been good and well balanced, but made the point that it was a shame that the general in studio merriment which had been encouraged afterwards detracted from the positive etc etc.

On the whole, I certainly do agree with John and Diane that the programme is a good one (but not as good as the late lamented predecessor), and I enjoy listening to it.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 04:57 PM

As always I'm on the look out for musicians who might play for us. Any offers?? Also anyone who wants to, is welcome to come and dance (regadless of whether or not they've danced border morris before)

I took this from another thread.

I wonder if Ms Glover got her attitude from this sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 08:41 AM

Yes, I take it I was the Ian mentioned on the programme, as I sent in the email also in this thread. I agree that Fi Glover more or less said, 'I'm so sorry I took the piss out of you that I reserve the right to do it again.' That is not an apology. (It was also bizarre: why mention celebs?!) I thought I might email again but when you're dealing with someone who has such scant respect for you it just doesn't seem like a good use of precious time. I like the feedback idea, though. Here's the website. The Feedback email is, unsurprisingly, feedback@bbc.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 09:46 AM

Folkiedave - you have taken that quote totally out of context. Like you, I would find it perturbing if it were from a permanent, long-established side, seeming to throw all standards to the winds.

But "this sort of thing" was from Herbaceous Border, an irregular, scratch side which only exists at festivals. It has no regular members, as its main raison d'être is to attract novices at festivals to try out morris dancing for the very first time. A few minutes instruction, then get up and do it! Perhaps it should state that you are welcome to dance with Herbaceous Border even if you've danced before!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 09:57 AM

Yes, Ian, I have to agree. Having listened to the "apology", it doesn't seem to be an apology as such at all. (And what's more we still had sniggering studio guests in the background ....sigh!) And, like you, I wondered why the celebrities were mentioned... since the article IIRC had nothing whatsoever to do with anything like Strictly Come Dancing - it was just a straight article about Morris dancing...the only place I've seen the link is in this particular thread, unless I'm mistaken! Still contemplating whether to pursue this again or to just let sleeping dogs lie ...


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 11:17 AM

I happen to believe that Morris dancing which I did for approximately thirty years for a side which was invited to festivals all over Europe and even visited South America for a festival, is a valid expression of a traditional folk art. Our reception abroad was often equivalent to that of national dance sides and sometimes people had difficulty believing we did this with no state support.

I happen to take it seriously and practised hard every Monday night to get it right so that when it was presented to the public we did not get the reaction of Fi Glover.

Frankly it is hard enough to stop people taking the mickey out of morris dancing. We do ourselves no favours with "come and dance even if you have never danced before" IF and I do stress IF - we are doing this in public. At the beginning we practised for a full year before going out in public.

If we are doing this in the confines of festival workshops then fine.

If we are teaching young people over the space of a week - like they did with a young rapper team at Sidmouth and are announced to the public as such that is also fine.

But if we are asking people to join in an ad hoc team to appear in front of the public with unrehearsed dancers and musicians frankly we deserve all the bad publicity and piss taking we get.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 11:24 AM

Quite.

Where's the point in setting out to be a downmarket equivalent of the Portsmouth Sinfonia?


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 02:11 PM

Who on earth has heard of the Portsmouth Sinfonia? Apart from me and you Diane......

Dave


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 02:16 PM

Well, they had a Top 40 hit in 1981 with Classical Muddley
(Sorry, I'm demolishing my own case . . . )


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 02:23 PM

I actually bought their LP.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM

I've heard of them (and heard them on TV and radio) ... do I get a prize??? And Dave, why would you have wanted to do that???


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 12:53 AM

I've heard of Portsmouth Sinfonia... I've also seen FolkieDave's former dance team. I know which I'd rather watch, and they're not from the south!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 04:06 AM

Thank you Liz - To Irene, I bought their LP as a "present" for my brother-in-law who (fortunately) appreciated the sense of humour behind the present.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 06:54 AM

Thanks for enlightening me Dave. As I recall, they were (are?) an incredibly enthusiastic bunch of people... just found this which makes interesting reading. I'm assuming that, since they had a reunion concert three years ago, they're still in existence!

All of which is, of course, incredibly off topic [grins]. Anybody sent anything in to Feedback??


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 08:09 AM

Dave - didn't actually say I'd seen you dance though did I!!

Give Timbo a big wet kiss for me next time you see him.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 08:15 AM

On the subject of dancing well (or not) - I once heard a member of Hurst Morris, though not one of the ones on Saturday Live, advising someone whose painful joints had forced her to give up North West morris and Border that she should do Cotswold instead, because it was 'easier'...
The reply was 'Not if you do it properly, it isn't'.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 08:22 AM

As far as I know there is no traditional dancing that is easy when it is done properly.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 06:19 PM

I stopped dancing North West when the second knee went.... couldn't see any point in dancing if I couldn't get the oomph into it. Still miss it though....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM

To get back on topic: yes, Surreysinger, I have sent an email in to Feedback. Anyone else done so?


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM

Herbaceous dance border, not Cotswold or North West, and they look as if they're enjoying it - they don't bring dance into disrepute or make it look like an esoteric activity which only weirdos could enjoy. FD - if you've seen them and think otherwise you're entitled to say so, but if your comment was based only on what you've read on another Mudcat thread, it's not much better than the basis for Fi Glover's comments.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 05:31 AM

No Kitty I have seen them at Sidmouth as well. They looked as if they were enjoying themselves but surely "looking as if they are enjoying themselves" is hardly the most important criteria in dancing in front of the public even if it is one of them.

Secondly I am not sure why it being Border they do makes a difference, are you suggesting border doesn't need much practice or as much skill?

And I am sorry that you think well-practised morris is something that looks like something weirdos could enjoy (or enjoy doing). My experience of taking well-practised morris all over Europe is just the opposite.

I am suggesting that unrehearsed dancing that anyone can join in with be they musician or be they dancer - and (important) which is done in front of the public - does not do morris dancing in general any favours. And if that is all they see they end up with opinions like Fi Glover's.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 07:47 AM

Irish display dancing was considered somewhat passe if not actually naff by yer average Irish person with newly found wealth and prosperity ..................



Until Michael Flatley lit up the genre. And changed it a little.


Morris does not lend itself to jazzing. Macho maybe. I always tell naysayers to tell "that" to a buch of Morris dancers who have consumed 8 pints each and have big sticks in their hands. They usually show some evidence of re-thinking though without the stick in evidence revert to the bravado of the naysayer.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 10:16 AM

We love to give naysayers a go with the sticks - unpractised they suddenly realise how difficult it is.

And we have altered the tradition, we do "Medup" so called because we med it up us sens.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 02:45 AM

Dave

No, of course I'm not suggesting that people who practise are weirdos, or that dancers shouldn't generally practise to get the dances right before they perform in public. I was with Flowers of May as dancer, squire and foreman, and (until numbers got really tight) if you didn't make the practice before the booking you didn't dance at the booking.

Well-practised, energetic morris, is a joy to watch (and do). But if it always looks difficult when performed in public people may be discouraged from starting. Sue works hard to make dancing more accessible to people who might not otherwise think of going to a workshop.

Kitty

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 04:19 AM

I am afraid we will have to differ on this one Kitty.

If it looks difficult in public people (I would have thought) might prefer to practise in private first - I know I would.

But practising in public (IMHO) is not the best way to present the public face of morris - too many teams look as if that's what they are doing anyway!!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 05:24 AM

I sent a message to Feedback about the "apology" suggesting that Ms Glover tries actually dancing wirth a team before scoffing at our culture!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 08:51 AM

Herbaceous Border are not practising in public - they are running an open workshop (teaching session) in public.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: RogerTCB
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 09:40 AM

unlurking...
The dances should look difficult or fun or challenging or a combination of these; something to engage the audience and make them wish to be part of it.
When the dancing looks bad there's couple reasons I've surmised. One is that the side has committed to dancing but found they had insufficient experienced dancers when it came to the event. This is unfortunate but understandable. Its happen over the last 2 week to both Towersey & GUM.
A second reason is that the culture of the side is more social than performance orientated, in which case the squire is trying to keep the members happy rather than give a good display, giving everyone a go regardless of ability. This kind of performance should be kept away from the public IMHO because it looks carp.
(ducks to hide from flames)


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: GUEST,A Lurker
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 11:01 AM

"the culture of the side is more social than performance orientated, in which case the squire is trying to keep the members happy rather than give a good display, giving everyone a go regardless of ability."

As a member of a side like this I have to agree to some extent. We have one member who cannot learn even the most simple steps, but we are over a barrel and have to let them dance out with us (long story).
Sadly the sides standard of performence has suffered greatly and some of our experienced dancers now refuse to dance out with us. But we try to have fun, and include a mixture of dances to our repitior.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 02:49 PM

There obviously is an issue about presentation - established sides that are dancing at a festival for display (especially if they're booked sides, but also if they're just busking) ought to be well-rehearsed, and so should scratch sides if they're in a procession. But I think it's OK to hold an open public workshop, when that's what it's advertised and announced as - a bit like inviting members of the public to join in dancing BGG.

Kitty

(I didn't know about Fi Glover in time to hear the item, because I was at Chippenham that weekend)


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 02:57 PM

I was at Chippenham that weekend

Well, indeed, as I said much higher up, I imagine the item was timed to coincide with Bampton on the 28th, and Saturday Live was on the replayer up to and including 2 June.

The thing about Chip + Bampton following each other reminds me of a question I was once asked about doing both, and by a scenic route to boot. I said that this would involve driving blindfold through Swindon.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 11 Jun 07 - 11:53 AM

You could go through Marlborough or Avebury instead! Much more interesting.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Jun 07 - 12:20 PM

If what is happening is asking the public to come along and have go at dancing then IMHO there should be a number of quality, well-rehearsed dancers there along with quality well-rehearsed musicians who both (dancers and musicians) know what they are doing.

But this was an appeal for dancers and musicians to come and join in an unrehearsed public performance - even if the public are being asked to join in at some point. Are they being asked to join in immediately? Is there a show first and then they are asked to join in after a demonstration - which seems to me to be the most likely. Who then does the show? Have they rehearsed?

Otherwise it seems to me that you have the partially-sighted leading the blind!!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 08:34 AM

" the partially-sighted leading the blind" ... while the blinkered refuse to see?


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 08:51 AM

Snuffy - do tell me what I am missing........


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 10:56 AM

How would I know? I'm one of the blind who can't see the irrepareable harm we're doing.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 11:05 AM

And then you would not be able to see the good others are doing either!!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 04:06 AM

I can see the good both in informal "outreach" events, and in performances of a professional standard. Can you see both?

Folk should include both the pub singaround and the Watersons at the Albert Hall. Neither of these "harms" folk - they are folk.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: AlexB
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 07:43 AM

Folkiedave, Sue teaches the dance, walking people through the steps, and then they run through it. There are several people there who are regulars and know the dances and help the others as they go.

The point is to show the public that it is fun. Herbaceous is not so much a display side, so don't hold it up as one. If it gets the public joining in, having fun and interested in dancing, then it is doing good work. And I believe it does do those things.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Sue the Borderer
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 11:04 AM

Hi Folkiedave
I've just had this thread pointed out to me. I'm interested in how strongly you feel that what we are doing as Herbaceous Border is damaging to the image of morris.

I, too, dance with a 'proper side' which practices hard all winter and aims to get the balance right between dancing really well, enjoying ourselves and entertaining the public. (Can't find the previous thread on this topic.)

People come to 'the morris' by different routes. Mine was by first getting involved with Herbaceous Border - and quite a number of other people do too.

Recently a morris dancer in full kit came up to me at a Festival and said "I must thank you! I've been dancing a while and I've kept trying to get my partner to come along to a practice night or a workshop and he always refused. Then, last year when we saw Herbaceous on the street he came and had a go. He enjoyed it so much he's joined the side and dances regularly." (Enter partner stage right, also in full morris kit.)
Sorry - it sounds like a slushy magazine story, but I promise you it's true.

Other typical comments include "I've been watching the dancing all weekend (or even 'for years') and it's brilliant to get the chance to have a go." This may be followed by "I've only done one dance and I'm shattered. You folks dance all day - you must be fit! I promise I'll never take the p*ss out of morris dancers again."

There may well be a few people in the crowd whose negative image of morris dancing is reinforced by what we are doing, but I think the majority can tell the difference between the skilled, slick display side and the simple basic dances that we do as part of an on-the-street workshop. What the two have in common is that they are both done with enjoyment, energy and enthusiasm...... which is catching!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 03:00 PM

I've missed Bampton for several years because I was hosting singarounds in Chippenham - so it was good to see a Bampton side dancing in Chippenham on the Saturday. When I asked Dave Spiers whether it was Arnold's side or Francis's side he told me it appeared to be a mixture of both.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 03:10 PM

it was indeed!


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 03:46 PM

I can see the point (though I would probably disagree with) of an "on-the-street workshop" - Sheffield City Morris have always (when appropriate) give the public chance to have a go. Last week Sheffield held its annual "Chance to Dance" designed exactly for that purpose and people were able to try all sorts of dancing including Morris. We have also run workshops both at UK festivals and at foreign festivals where (especially) it is often part of the work a team is asked to do.

I happen to think the proper place for a total "workshop" is outside the public gaze but if it is clear that that is what you are doing then it has its good points as you mention. Of course those turned off might not approach you and those who think like Fi GLover will undoubtedly have their prejudices reinforced. They are not likely to say so either.

But your plea on this board was not for the public, it was for people who read this and will be at a Festival to come and join you - not the public but dancers and musicians.

Now I am not sure what they are joining - but it is clearly not a practised side and I can see why you might need a musician but if you are teaching some sort of morris dancing from scratch then I think a demonstration side ought to have more to offer than people who happen to be at a festival.

Of course if you are teaching Border with to strangers then you have thought what might happen if a member of the public hurts another member of the public with a stick!! I once spent an unhappy couple of hours in hospital with (as it happens) a fellow dancer where a piece of stick flew off, smashed into his glasses and could easily have blinded him. So it does happen.

To Snuffy
Yes of course I can see the difference between the RAH and I enjoy them both.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Rattler
Date: 13 Jun 07 - 07:31 PM

I'm sure Sue will reply but be assured that Herbaceous has insurance like other Morris sides. That there have been no serious incidents to date may reflect the standard of instruction.


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Subject: RE: Strictly Come Folk Dancing?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 05:09 AM

I'd seriously suggest you check the terms of that insurance - if you haven't done so already.

Inviting the unpractised public to "come and have a go" is not the same as insuring a practised side against accidents.


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