Mudcat Café message #3704767 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157043   Message #3704767
Posted By: Thompson
28-Apr-15 - 02:46 AM
Thread Name: What exactly is Morris dancing?
Subject: RE: What exactly is Morris dancing?
Very interesting about the Morresque - never came across them before, lovely dance.

Here's morris dancing (terrible video - skip to the middle - but very typical of village dancing.

Here's a morreska sword dance, apparently by professionals - you can see the similarity.

And here's Wren Boys in Ireland - again, similar.

It seems likely to me (my own mad theory, mind) that play-fighting dances, and dances that 'conceal' the dancers' faces (though in local places of course everyone knows who they are), are an old, old tradition with their forgotten rules in religious ritual. The fact that it's boys rather than girls who dance in these public displays may be part of the antifeminist religious mania that swept Europe from the 16th to the 19th centuries, or may reflect an older tradition of totemic dances.