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What is Morris Dancing?

Lichfield Morris Dances

The History of Morris Dancing in Lichfield

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What is Morris Dancing?

The name "Morris" is a general term which refers to the many forms of traditional dance and drama in Britain. The dance styles fall into a number of distinct groups:

Cotswold Morris - This is the traditional form of morris from the South Midlands in which six men perform the dance to the accompaniment of a fiddle, melodeon or concertina, often with a fool, hobby horse, or other animal totem. Each village had its own dances and style of dancing, although many of the tunes were widespread. Cotswold dancers usually dress in whites and wear bells on shin pads.

North West Morris - This style of dancing is from the North West of England from Cheshire to Westmorland. It is usually performed in clogs by eight or more dancers accompanied by a band. The dancers carry short sticks, slings or garlands.

Border Morris - This comes from the counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Border Morris is performed by six or eight dancers who usually wear rag costumes and often blacken their faces.

Sword Dancing - Rapper sword dancing comes from the north east of England and involved five dancers linked to each other by holding a flexible piece of steel (rapper sword) with a wooden handle at both ends. Longsword sides, which come mainly from South Yorkshire, consist of five to eight dancers and are linked by long swords with a wooden handle and a blunt end.

Molly Dancing - This comes from Cambridgeshire and East Anglia and is associated with Plough Monday. It is normally danced in work boots with at least one Molly Man dressed as a woman.

Lichfield Morris