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Jess A Morris joins the Dodo? (185* d) RE: Morris joins the Dodo? 06 Jan 09

I'm told that Jeremy Vine will be interviewing one of Pecsaetan, Jo Maher, at lunchtime today on radio 2.

She and I are two of the more senior members of Pecsaetan these days, being in our early thirties. Most of the team are in their mid twenties and there are (I think) a couple of late teens. Being all women but with a male musician, we are in the federation. That said, we do dance quite straight 'black book' style cotswold (the black book = the morris ring published notation for most of the traditional cotswold dances).

My own take on the current media fuss is that there are enough people out there who care, and enough detailed records, for 'the morris' to be safe from dying out, in some form or another.

There's a new all male, youngish Cotswold side in Sheffield at the moment, called Five Rivers Morris. I'm looking forward to seeing them when they are ready to dance out. As far as I know they are made up of a mix of experinced dancers from other teams and absolute morris novices.

As to the Olympics - I would love nothing more than for the opening ceremony to be a big and dramatic celebration of really good traditional British dancing, but only if it was to be done really well. The Olympics is imho about showcasing athletic prowess. I'm not sure how many morris dancers would class themselves as athletic but I'd bet not many. Even in my own fairly young team, we're not as fit as we should be...

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