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Why are morris dancers under threat from

GUEST,Jim Martin 18 Jun 13 - 11:57 AM
Chris Partington 18 Jun 13 - 12:42 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Jun 13 - 12:47 PM
Vic Smith 18 Jun 13 - 06:16 PM
Kampervan 18 Jun 13 - 10:21 PM
JohnInKansas 18 Jun 13 - 11:24 PM
Gurney 19 Jun 13 - 12:50 AM
SteveMansfield 19 Jun 13 - 01:58 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Jun 13 - 01:59 AM
JohnInKansas 19 Jun 13 - 02:39 AM
Mo the caller 19 Jun 13 - 05:19 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jun 13 - 05:49 AM
Uncle Tone 19 Jun 13 - 05:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Jun 13 - 06:03 AM
Green Man 19 Jun 13 - 06:05 AM
Vic Smith 19 Jun 13 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Jun 13 - 07:13 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Jun 13 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Jun 13 - 10:05 AM
Uncle Tone 19 Jun 13 - 10:40 AM
Noreen 19 Jun 13 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Peter 19 Jun 13 - 05:56 PM
Vic Smith 20 Jun 13 - 09:25 AM
Vic Smith 20 Jun 13 - 09:29 AM
The Sandman 20 Jun 13 - 10:30 AM
The Sandman 20 Jun 13 - 10:35 AM
Vic Smith 22 Jun 13 - 10:06 AM
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Subject: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 18 Jun 13 - 11:57 AM

Why are morris dancers under threat from a shortage of irons?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/shortcuts/2013/jun/16/morris-dancers-threat-shortage-irons


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Chris Partington
Date: 18 Jun 13 - 12:42 PM

They're not, but the Guardian may be under threat from piss-poor inaccurate under-researched journalism.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Jun 13 - 12:47 PM

Stupid ignorant twunts.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Jun 13 - 06:16 PM

Chris Partington

They're not, but the Guardian may be under threat from piss-poor inaccurate under-researched journalism.
-


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Kampervan
Date: 18 Jun 13 - 10:21 PM

Gosh, fancy finding poor, under-researched, inaccurate comment on Mudcat!!

K/van


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Jun 13 - 11:24 PM

Or comment that criticizes without saying what's wrong with someone else's comment?? ...

Is the report wrong because there is no shortage of irons?

Is the report wrong because Morris Dancers don't actually need irons?

What the f**k does an iron look like?

Interested people who know less about the art (or whatever it is??) would perhaps really care to know.

And some of us who don't really give a sh*t might even be mildly curious.

John


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Gurney
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 12:50 AM

Like a human-sized horse-shoe, John. In the days when boots were repairable, they were often iron-shod on sole and heel, even (or especially) children's boots.

Morrismen are traditionalists.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 01:58 AM

Amongst the things wrong with the article ...

The statement that 'Morris is dying out' was a press release by The Morris Ring a couple of years ago. What it actually meant was 'we are failing to attract any new members to our particular narrow 1930s Peter Kennedy and Ralf Gardiner approved/dictated vision of the Morris, and because we don't recognise any other form as true and pure Morris, therefore Morris is dying out'. Members of Open Morris, the Morris Federation, and all the unaffilated border, north-west, cotswold, molly etc sides see things rather differently. Or, to simplify, Morris Ring != all Morris.

The majority of sides do not even dance in irons. Those sides that do (mainly mens North-West sides) will be severely affected by a shortage of irons, and I certainly do not mean to demean the effect a shortage will have on them - but saying that 'all Morris is in crisis because of a shortage of irons' is like saying 'all music is in crisis because Beyonce has lost her voice'.

There are no doubt many other flaws and lazy stereotypes in the piece, but I think those are the two main issues ...


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 01:59 AM

Isn't it funny how the rest of the world unquestioningly believes that the locution "Hey nonny no" occurs ubiquitously thruout folklore, when the only actual instance that I can think of occurs in a song wrote by Will in As You Like It. An unshakeable near-universal misapprehension.

Very strange!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 02:39 AM

So Morris Dancers (in the north) mug little kids who tap dance and swipe their shoes?

Of course here even the kids usually give up that particular style of dancing by the time they're about 6 y.o., so maybe they'd have to mug a dozen little buggers to get an iron for each toe? (Assuming 5 toes per foot.)

"Heel taps" (the name in the comic book ads) were fairly common here, for kids, up to about the mid '50s, to avoid "run down heels," but toe taps for general wear were rare a long time before then.

Since making a horse shoe was always a "beginners lesson" for any blacksmith, it would seem like even a rank amateur with a propane torch (or maybe a MAPP?) and something to beat on should be able to make something pretty authentic in short order.

Of course it would be more fun to re-create a 500 year old smithy forge and all the trimmin's, but I don't have a good photo of how those were set up.

John


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Mo the caller
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 05:19 AM

It's alright. Someone told them.

"• The picture caption was amended on 18 June to clarify that morris dancers in the north-west traditionally wear irons. In the south dancers more commonly wear bells."


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 05:49 AM

If a paper can get it that wrong about a cultural phenomenon that happens a few miles from their office and which we can check up on, why should we believe a word of what they say about the Shiites of Syria, the Christian fundamentalists of the US, the Vatican or the G8 politicians?


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 05:58 AM

Its 'ironic' isn't it?

Tone


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 06:03 AM

Just lazy journalism and a reflection of the Media's view of English traditions. If newspapers and the TV can take the piss out of English traditions is it any wonder that they do not get the support they deserve. I urge you all to write to the Guardian and let them know it is a stupid thing to do.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Green Man
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 06:05 AM

Morris men are under threat from themselves.

As long as they run the Morris like a big boys club it will decline.

If it was not for women maintaining the tradition over wartime periods it probably would be in a much worse state.

The Morris Ring have their ideas and the rest don't.

I much prefer Border or Cotswold to the c loggers but they do have their place and they dress up in strange outfits (even for Morris people)

I think we are dying out in a demographic sense as we as a group are failing to attract young people to continue the tradition.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 06:16 AM

Jack Campin wrote:-
" why should we believe a word of what they say about the Shiites of Syria, the Christian fundamentalists of the US, the Vatican or the G8 politicians?"

Hmm! I could not call myself an expert on any of the subjects that Jack mentions, but a do know a great deal about The Gambia and I know that the article on the politics of that country that appeared in the same edition as the morris article was full of inaccuracies.

One small point in favour of the morris article; it is in their Shortcuts series which regular Guardianistas will know are piss-takes in an attempt to be what they would call "funny".

Not read the morris article in full? Then click here

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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 07:13 AM

Playing on clichés, in spite of better knowledge, is a holy tradition of English humour, under threat from various directions but still going strong. I enjoyed the text.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 08:27 AM

Yes; but in that unfortunate strand of English humour which insists on seeing something intrinsically comic about the morris. Which I loathe with a virulent loathing. And I'm not even a morrisman.

I remember a long thread, some years back now, in which I stuck my neck out about some tv company trying to find a morris side for some cop soap -- forget which now -- who wouldn't mind its being taken a bit lighthearted.

Ugh!

~M~

In the upshot, I seem to remember, there was a longshot which included a morris side dancing in the middle distance for what must have been all of 3 seconds. But that is not the point.

Tho must admit I have a soft spot for the Dads Army episode... Once wrote one of my monthly Folk Review backpage columns about it.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 10:05 AM

I'm completely obsessive about any kind of Morris dancing. I've been to a Morris Ring large event in Wells, Somerset, and nearly cried with emotion watching the dancing in front of Wells Cathedral. I've been to the Straw Bear in Whittlesea and nearly died of cold, but stayed to the last minute to see all the varieties of Morris, Molly, NW Clog, Sword Rappers Border Morris and Mummers' plays etc. I go each year to Sheringham's Potty Festival and get all choked up again. I can't for the life of me understand why people take the weewee. There's nothing intrinsically daft or weedy about it at all; it requires great strength and vigour to dance like that, not to mention concentration and practice . Morris folk are fantastically kind and friendly, with a lovely spirit of inclusiveness.If some people don't like it, well, fine. But many of us adore it, it gives us enormous pleasure and fun, and I will personally poke anyone's eyes out if they deride it to me!!


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 10:40 AM

"Morris folk are fantastically kind and friendly."

Are they always?

When the new Cottonmill Morris (mixed NW from St Albans) once danced for a wedding in Loughborough, two 'heavies' from the local morris ring threatened to prevent their Squire from letting his side dance on their territory, without their permission, and with (horror of horrors) women dancing!

As it happened they could not muster their threatened reinforcements so we won the day, to the delight of the locals. To be fair to any Leicestershire Morris Ring members now, this was back in 1979, when the Open Ring was but a babe.

You do your thing. We'll do ours, but we're on common ground, was the answer to them.

The Morris Ring is not the Mafia or the Gestapo, as those idiots seemed to think. Nor do they own morris dancing!

Back on topic. Yes, we did dance in irons.

Tone (First Cottonmill Clog Morris Squire)


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Noreen
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 04:59 PM

Green Man says I think we are dying out in a demographic sense as we as a group are failing to attract young people to continue the tradition.

If you'd have been at Chippenham Festival a few weeks ago you'd think differently- while there were lots of us oldies (who have more time to do such things once family responsibilities have passed) there were countless young dancers who impressed greatly with their energy and enthusiasm.
Just for example, look up National Youth Folklore Troupe of England who danced in and out and alongside and around the rest of us on the parade through the town :)

There's plenty of youth involved, if you go out and look for it instead of believing Morris Ring propaganda.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 05:56 PM

I think we are dying out in a demographic sense as we as a group are failing to attract young people to continue the tradition.

Just old farts like these?


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 09:25 AM

One of the best of the dance sides in our area is Plumpton Black Brook and, no, you can't join unless you happen to be a member of that village's junior school.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 09:29 AM

Plumpton Black Brook Morris


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 10:30 AM

vic , that is great news.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jun 13 - 10:35 AM

well done all involved in plumpton black brook morris.
WHERE are the EFDSS? are they doing anything like this on a national scale, I understand they may be doing isolated projects, which must be good but in my opinion this should be happening on a national basis.


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Subject: RE: Why are morris dancers under threat from
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Jun 13 - 10:06 AM

See Paul Davenport from Yorkshire and his contribution to the idea that there are no young ritual dancers.


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