Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Morris dancing outside pubs

Tradsinger 16 Jun 17 - 04:08 AM
Senoufou 16 Jun 17 - 04:27 AM
JHW 16 Jun 17 - 04:33 AM
Mr Red 16 Jun 17 - 04:47 AM
Mo the caller 16 Jun 17 - 05:30 AM
Marje 16 Jun 17 - 06:21 AM
Alan Day 16 Jun 17 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 16 Jun 17 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Peter 16 Jun 17 - 10:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Jun 17 - 10:33 AM
Senoufou 16 Jun 17 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 16 Jun 17 - 02:44 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Tradsinger
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 04:08 AM

I'd like to get some readers' views on Morris Dancing outside pubs. Now I have been a Morris dancer and musician for over 40 years and so am a great supporter of the art, but wonder whether it is worth our while any more dancing outside pubs. I have lots of Morris dancing friends on Facebook and they often post up photo albums but I am increasingly aware that there is something missing, i.e. audience. It is obvious that pubs have changed - when I took up Morris in the 70s, pubs were full of locals, who would turn out in most cases from the bar to watch us. A large proportion of today's pub clientele are there for a meal and I notice that a number of pubs are almost deserted from about 9.30 when the diners go home. I enjoy a convivial pint as much as the next man and have also enjoyed many monumental singing sessions after the Morris, but I feel that Morris these days has become something to please ourselves rather than an entertainment to engage with the public.

I am contrasting this with my experience of Morris dancing abroad, particularly in Spain which I have visited many times as a Morrisman. The events that we have performed at have usually been well-organised festivals and gatherings, with a proper audience, PA, etc. I am not aware that Spanish folk dance groups perform in car parks or in the road dodging the traffic. Are we aiming our sights too low and should we be trying to appear at higher profile events? I feel this would be good for our image if we were seen to be up there on a stage.

Another bugbear of mine is why Morris dancers are so scared of using PA for some of their performances. I have heard squires often say "I don't need PA, I can shout loud enough". However, a person in a street shouting is just a person in the street shouting. Obviously it would not be appropriate in all cases but spoken announcements through a PA do get more attention.

I can fully appreciate the fact that today's Morris has grown out of a village and pub tradition but I would like to see Morris given a higher platform and I feel that higher status and respect would follow.

I will now stand back and await the fireworks.

Tradsinger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 04:27 AM

We live in Norfolk and for donkeys' years I've followed various Morris sides on their dancing-out programmes at pubs. Here we have loads of traditional country pubs, and also lots of tourists in the summer months. There doesn't seem to be a dearth of spectators, and the idea of having PA horrifies me. It's never seemed to be necessary. Anyway, the announcements need to be short really, just the name of the dance to be performed, and the tune if necessary.

We also have the Sheringham Potty Festival in July, and I've never seen a PA system used, nor at the Straw Bear in Whittlesea (Cambridgeshire). And the number of spectators is usually phenomenal.

At a pub, one can sit/stand with a half of real ale in hand and enjoy two things at once.
I realise all this may be different in other parts of the country though. Norfolk is a rather traditional sort of place!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: JHW
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 04:33 AM

I reckon/agree much dancing of various persuasions (I do mummers plays) is mainly for the benefit of those who are doing it, dance teams performing in turn while the audience is those who are not dancing. I wouldn't expect much of an outside audience at a pub or indeed in many a town street or square unless people have deliberately gone there for some broader event. We Mummers long since gave up our annual stagger round town pubs and even round festival host towns.
Pubs are traditionally the place of refreshment but I wouldn't expect an audience.

PAs no thanks. If people don't want to know, shouting at them won't help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 04:47 AM

Maybe in the 70s you went where the audience went. Or should I have said folk?
In Stroud we get Morris displays on "festival" days, and even got a ceilidh set with unfamiliar faces joining in.
Stroud is perhaps lucky in having pedestrianised streets, but many towns have them these days.
Perhaps if you allied to charitable causes. Spontaneus displays for "Manchester", "Westminster" or "Grenfell" on a Saturday in towns. With willing volunteers collecting. So much more acceptable than a chuggers or more entertaining than people standing alone with a collecting box.

You don't need a PA if there is a visual spectacle. Crowds follow crowds - get a few and you get more. There is a guy who comes to Stroud occasionally and he starts shouting "please be careful this is dangerous" and he carries on like that until he has a caucus standing outside the rope square he is laying down. He is a juggler, uni-cyclist and fire-eater.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 05:30 AM

"....dance teams performing in turn while the audience is those who are not dancing..."
Or maybe not even that. Those waiting to go on are thinking about their act.
In the past I've been to watch Morris outside pubs - one Christmas the 2 of us were the only ones watching, the other side wasn't.

But when there are people in town for e.g. turning on the Christmas Lights, they will watch whatever is on offer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Marje
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 06:21 AM

You do need to pick your pubs. There's a similar issue affecting music sessions in pubs: many village and rural pubs are little more than informal restaurants, especially in the evenings. Couples and families go there mainly for a meal, and may not be interested in sideshows of folk music or dance.

Town pubs are often less foody and more welcoming, but many don't have outdoor space for dancing.

All I can suggest is careful planning, entailing some pub-crawling before the summer programme is drawn up.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Alan Day
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 06:32 AM

Pub audiences have changed, but sadly so have some Moeeis sides. My attraction initially to watch and play for Morris Dancing was for the session that followed it. The wonderful singing and music playing. Now many go home after the dancing. For me the best bit is missing.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 09:57 AM

Coincidentally just written something on this very topic for the Glos Folk annual report just published
Here IMHO it is the combination of (a) pubs with falling numbers of customers, (b) evening activities attracting a smaller audience, and (c) morris sides and others failing to publicise their performances well enough! Several morris sides in Gloucestershire do not even publish a programme!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 10:15 AM

This seems to have been the case for about the last 25 years. Like the previous posters I think that people no longer to to a pub just to "go for a drink" any more in large parts of the country. Also many sides do little to promote themselves. The morris diary published in my local folk magazine (Unicorn) seems shorter every year.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 10:33 AM

i think its really nice.

if people don't like it, sod 'em!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 01:12 PM

Norwich's Kemp's Men have a full dancing-out programme for the whole summer, at numerous pubs around Norfolk. There are also North-West Clog sides (Fiddlesticks for example) who are to be found outside pubs. Even the Potty Festival (coming soon, 1st and 2nd July, 40 Morris sides taking part - can't wait!) is danced outside up to seven pubs around the town. And the folk singing afterwards is always lovely.

This is making me all excited now! My husband will be looking out a suitably colourful African outfit, and preparing to be dragged into a dance, much to his embarrassment no doubt.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morris dancing outside pubs
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 02:44 PM

When we danced at pubs it was the pub that was important to us not whether anyone watched. Whatever the size of any audience we gave it all anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 June 12:06 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.