Seabright Morris and Sword
NEEDS APPRENTICE DANCERS AND MUSICIANS
Start learning in November
Start performing next Spring
is a traditional form of folk dancing from England, usually performed
at town festivals and outside of pubs by the working class. Morris dancers
wear festive costumes and ribbons and clash sticks or wave hankies in time
to traditional English country tunes.
British Sword Dancing
is a related ritual dance tradition, performed by 5-7 dancers linked in a
ring by dancing swords or staves. The dancers perform intricate figures
which form the swords into interesting shapes and topological puzzles.
No previous dance experience is necessary. Musicians who have not played
for live dancers are invited to come prepared to learn. People with Morris
dance or music experience:
what are you waiting for?
Morris practice is Wednesday nights from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We need people
who can attend regularly at these times from November through June.
Performances start in late April and can go into July; most occur on
Our sword team is just starting, so our practice times are not set yet.
Prime performance season for sword dancing is the winter months, but we
will probably be practicing and performing through most of the year.
``We do it all day, we do it all night,
because it is a fertility rite!''
Preserve a beautiful tradition.
No one knows when or how Morris dancing started, but we enjoy its celebration
of the seasons. It rejoices especially in the return of fertility to
the earth in the Spring, and it is said that the money given to the Morris
dancers will bring good luck and fertility to the entire community.
We follow traditions taken from villages in the Cotswold area of England,
where they have performed for centuries. Morris dancing nearly died out
in the early part of this century, but a Morris revival led by folk
dance enthusiasts has led to the documentation of many Morris traditions
and dances. Seabright concentrates on traditions from the Cotswold villages
of Adderbury and Bledington, and we are working on the sword dance from
Papa Stour, one of the Shetland Islands of Scotland.
Morris dancing is medieval aerobics. We stretch out and then spend an hour
and a half jumping up and down in time to music, flapping our arms and
lifting our legs. The difference between this and modern aerobics is that
the music is acoustic, live and English.
Meet great people!
Besides the dancing, Seabright is a team, working together toward the goals
of performing well while having fun. We also have parties and get together
with other Morris teams at events called ``Ales''. Most of us are musical
and enjoy singing and playing instruments together as well as dancing.
Besides, it's fun!
What could be more fun than dressing up, making a fool of yourself for
the pleasure of others (always with the defense that ``it's traditional''),
dancing both individually and as a team at the same time, and following
it all with beer (or ice cream) and good fellowship?
For further information...
Text by Julie Schult.