Morris Dancing has a long and proud tradition. The recorded history of Morris Dancing in this country stretches back to 1448 when Goldsmiths Company in London are recorded as having paid seven shillings to a group of Morris Dancers for some sort of performance. At many points since then Morris Dancing has completely fallen from style, only to return at some point when the time was right. It could only return, however, because some people somewhere preserved it. Preserved its practices, its techniques and its meaning. The industrial revolution, for instance, brought an abrupt end to much of the Morris Dancing up and down this land. There are four teams who claim to have a continuous linage since before the Industrial Revolution with many of these teams being kept going through the social changes of that period by one particularly dedicated family.
The Abingdon clan, for instance, were kept going by the solitary Hemmings family. The time we are at now is an interesting one for Morris Dancing. Yes, we live at a time when the young are particularly enamoured with a sense of modernity, where ideas of relevance are horribly fleeting and consumed by temporal vicinity, but Morris Dancing still has a dedicated following and has made some inroads onto the younger population as of late.
But, whatever the current cultural weather, what matter is that the people who truly care keep Morris going. So we are having a meet next week at, of all places, Manchester Airport! We’re going to head out and Morris Dance at Manchester Airport. Dancers will be driving from around the country to park up and show their skills. Just think of the people from all around the world who will see us dance. For all those who are driving you can get refundable parking at all of the Manchester Airport car parks.
It’s going to be a special dance and we hope as many of you as possible can come.
(ed: dance postponed, more news to follow)