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Ripley Morris Men on ITV1

YorkshireYankee 03 Sep 10 - 07:38 PM
EnglishFolkfan 03 Sep 10 - 09:25 PM
YorkshireYankee 04 Sep 10 - 09:07 AM
VirginiaTam 04 Sep 10 - 09:22 AM
melodeonboy 04 Sep 10 - 09:52 AM
VirginiaTam 04 Sep 10 - 10:52 AM
YorkshireYankee 04 Sep 10 - 12:38 PM
VirginiaTam 04 Sep 10 - 12:58 PM
YorkshireYankee 04 Sep 10 - 01:10 PM
Derby Ram 04 Sep 10 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,EricTheOrange 05 Sep 10 - 03:42 AM
YorkshireYankee 05 Sep 10 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Eliza c 05 Sep 10 - 08:09 PM
pavane 06 Sep 10 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,eliza c 06 Sep 10 - 06:23 PM
Herga Kitty 07 Sep 10 - 01:04 PM
SylviaN 07 Sep 10 - 01:17 PM
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Subject: Ripley Morris on ITV1 (Michael Ball Show)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 07:38 PM

Happened to catch a fragment of "The Michael Ball Show" on ITV1 a couple of days ago (Wed. 1 Sept.) and was surprised to see Morris dancing...

So I went to the ITV website & found the programme so I could see the whole thing (should be available here until the end of the month). The "Morris Dancing Challenge" is ~26 min, 35 seconds along. (Warning: am not sure, but you may have to endure a number of adverts before you can view the bit you want; it seems to be set up so you can't skip the adverts.)

It's a team of/from the Ripley Morris Men. I thought they acquitted themselves extremely well and the audience reaction seemed pretty good. Unfortunately, I did get the impression that Mr Ball was trying to tread a fine line between making fun of Morris dancing yet not being too rude to invited guests...

For example, at one point Mr Ball said (something like) "There's nothing we like better than humiliating foreigners," (it was a couple of American women taking the "challenge"). However, the Ripley side's spokesman did not let him get away with this, and spoke up saying that they had not been in the least humiliated -- forcing Ball to backpedal a bit (guess he hesitated to make an issue of it on national television), so well done that man!

Perhaps they were only invited on as comic relief, but I think they ended up looking pretty good -- was pleased to see Morris dancing getting some (I thought) positive exposure -- what do others think?


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: EnglishFolkfan
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 09:25 PM

Thank you for the link. I watched and thought not only did the Ripley Morris Side equipped themselves extremely well but it looked like the 2 Americans, Becky & Nichole, thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. The audience seemed to like the display and I felt Mr Ball was the only looser. Shame the Americans didn't know, & the programme researchers obviously didn't let on, that there are lots of Morris Sides across the Pond, as witnessed by the enthusiasm for the 'Morris: A life with bells on' Movie when it was shown over there.

Please bear in mind I've never seen this programme before & skipped through to the Morris piece, so am not really sure what is the point Mr Ball's Show tries to make. Was nice to see a full side on telly though. Am hoping this weekends 5000 Morris at the London South Bank Centre get lots of positive tv & radio coverage.


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 09:07 AM

Yes... as a Yank who was once a member of a US Morris team & has repeatedly been to Morris Ales attended by dozens of Morris sides, I had a useless, fleeting urge to shout this info at the telly...
Of course, Morris dancing is even less mainstream in the US than in the UK. Over here (England), people routinely ridicule it (but almost everyone has heard of it); in the US, no-one makes fun of it --
no point ridiculing something if (virtually) nobody knows what you're referring to.

Not sure which is worse...


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 09:22 AM

The first is worse... Shameful behaviour to ridicule your country's own traditions. I am a American living in UK. I love watching Morris in every variation. I even created an Observer Book of Morris and other traditional dance, which so far, I have been remiss in filling.

When my Pig's Ear CD is finished playing I will view the link.


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: melodeonboy
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 09:52 AM

"Shameful behaviour to ridicule your country's own traditions."

Well said, Tam. In my experience the English are worse than anyone else for that.


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 10:52 AM

Well, I watched the video, and I didn't get the impression that he was taking the piss. Just babble coming out, because he really didn't know what to say.

He might have meant humiliating foreigners in the sense.. ha ha you can't dance. Turned out they could.

I want to be a Morris Dancer. Damned arthritis.


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 12:38 PM

Hi Virginia,

To be fair, I found it hard to judge whether or not he was taking the mick. You may be right -- that he just didn't know what to say. I can see it being read either/both way(s),

Unfortunately, the English haven not cornered the market on disparaging their own traditions -- there are plenty of Yanks who think trad music & dance is/are a joke (whether it's from their own culture or someone else's). However, the English certainly excel at it.

I sometimes wonder if it's because no-one has ever tried to take their traditions away from them -- in the way that they have done to other countries in the past (Scotland, for example). They might value their traditions more if some outside power had tried to suppress such practices (although it could be argued that the current licensing laws are not too far off that mark...).

As for whether ridicule or ignorance is worse, it might be argued (I'm playing devil's advocate here, as opposed to feeling this strongly) that it's preferable for people to at least be familiar with something -- even if they make fun of it -- rather than have no idea it exists.

Would you rather start from "square one" (i.e. ridicule) or (to coin a phrase) "square zero" (i.e. complete ignorance)? Or should riducule be considered "square minus one"?


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 12:58 PM

Difficult call. I am afraid initial exposure to a tradition as it is being ridiculed could be very detrimental to the tradition.

The uninitiated may happen upon a tradition in practice or in an archival situation and be smitten to take it up. This is less likely to happen if the uninitiated is exposed with negative judgement applied by another.

Where one permits a tradition fade away by natural cause the other is wilfully killing it off.


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 01:10 PM

Very good points. I myself am an illustration of an "uninitiated" person happening upon a tradition and -- as you put it so well -- "being smitten to take it up".
If I had grown up with it being constantly ridiculed, would I still have taken it up? Can't honestly say...


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: Derby Ram
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 07:16 PM

With all the positive exposure that Morris has had in the media over the last three years, perhaps it won't be long before mass disparaging of the art will be a thing of the past - perhaps it already is largely..:-)


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: GUEST,EricTheOrange
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 03:42 AM

I watched the clip & it looked fine to me. Perhaps some people are being a bit over-sensitive???


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 11:09 AM

Entirely possible -- the first time I saw (part of) it, I thought it was fine. Later, when I watched the whole thing, I wasn't so sure.

That's why I'm interested in how others perceive(d) it.


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: GUEST,Eliza c
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 08:09 PM

It has often been said of the English that they had a hand in stripping others of their traditions-but it must be remembered that the ordinary man on the street had very little to do with that, and in fact may be considered the first victim of what was an establishment practise by those much further up the food chain. The current licensing laws are only the latest in a long line of disgraceful things those in power have done to our traditions, because they are thought of as irrelevant. Good to see some good dancers on the telly. X e Goo


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: pavane
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 04:41 AM

And I think the cutsom of making fun of Morris goes back at least as far as Shakespeare's many references in his plays - so it must be traditional?


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:23 PM

:-D !!
x e


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 01:04 PM

I think it helped that Becky and Nicole joined in a stick dance, not a hanky dance. My guess is that they had a bit of practice beforehand..?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Ripley Morris Men on ITV1
From: SylviaN
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 01:17 PM

No, I would never have guessed! :-)


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