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Anyone watching Morris?

01 Apr 19 - 04:37 PM (#3985419)
Subject: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Stanron

BBC 4 right now. Should women dance Morris?


01 Apr 19 - 05:59 PM (#3985430)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Tattie Bogle

I think the programme dwelled too long on this aspect, but yes, why not?


01 Apr 19 - 06:13 PM (#3985432)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: RTim

Women already DO Dance Morris and have for years....

Enough already!

Tim Radford


02 Apr 19 - 06:37 AM (#3985494)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: peteglasgow

my sister dances morris. there is plenty of morris/rapper/folk dance on a film available on iplayer just now. Arcadia - it's beautiful, weird, and scary. lovely pictures of the way our country in all its wild and wonderful ways is being stolen from us. highly recommended


02 Apr 19 - 08:22 AM (#3985509)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Trevor

Peteaberdeen - do you have a link to that please? Can't seem to access it.


02 Apr 19 - 08:57 AM (#3985515)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Howard Jones

The programme wasn't about whether women should dance morris - obviously, they've been doing that for decades regardless of what the Ring thinks - but it was a perceptive view on why the Ring was so resistant to it. It would have been easy to do a hatchet job on a bunch of ageing, out-of-touch misogynistic blokes, instead it was fairly sympathetic to their concerns about style and authenticity. It made a valid point that while all-women groups (in any sphere of activity) are acceptable and seen as "empowering", all-male groups are increasingly not acceptable. The film maker saw the morris men pursuing joy and beauty as a counter to the "toxic masculinity" more usually attributed to male gatherings.

What it didn't explore was whether traditional morris is really at risk or whether this is a particular issue for the Ring. There are plenty of single-sex sides who are outside the Ring - are they also struggling to recruit?


02 Apr 19 - 09:16 AM (#3985518)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: DMcG

I found this a much more intelligent and thoughtful programme than I expected, and the points Howard highlighted above were ones that struck me as important as well. At one point the presenter was saying how many sides treat this as an artform comparable to ballet, and that is my experience of some sides too. Thinking about ballet, though, while Matthew Bourne's all-male Swan Lake is well known, it seems to have been a one-off, more than a trend setter. I have yet to see mixed wilis in "Giselle", for example, so it is fair to say that formal dance does have a strong gender divide in general - morris is not really exceptional.

I have no objection at all to mixed sides, but I agree with the presenter that there might be more to consider than just my default position that everything should be open to everyone.


02 Apr 19 - 09:43 AM (#3985522)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: peteglasgow

i've just tried to post a link but it didn't seem to like it

so- go to bbc i-player

then categories - film

then film a-z then Arcadia

hope you find it and enjoy it as much as i did

available for 7 days!


02 Apr 19 - 10:05 AM (#3985526)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Howard Jones

Cotswold, which is the backbone of the Ring, requires a lot of technique. It is difficult to do well, as the film producer discovered. To do it well requires study and practice, which is why so many of the dancers interviewed took it so seriously, and why they were concerned that women dancers would dilute the style. There is some justification for this view. The fact is that women move differently from men, which most dance forms celebrate and exploit. The morris world seems to prefer to pretend that it isn't true.

I think the bigger problem facing morris is that of declining standards. There are more sides than ever before, but I find most of them are unwatchable, especially the flood of mixed border sides which now seem to be the fashion amongst young dancers. I can see the attraction - it is noisy, there is plenty of scope for invention as the details of the tradition are so sketchy, and it doesn't appear to demand much technique so it is easy to learn. I can see that the participants are enjoying themselves hugely, but the actual dancing is often a shambles.

When morris is danced well there is nothing to beat it, and it doesn't then matter if the dancers are male or female. The problem is that despite there being more sides than ever, it is a rarity to find it danced well.


02 Apr 19 - 10:57 AM (#3985535)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Will Fly

The nearest side to me is Ditchling Morris, a "mixed family side", formed 33 years ago. I've seen them dance - mainly Cotswold Morris dances, from the villages of Bucknell, Fieldtown, Adderbury, Bledington, and Hinton in the Hedges - many times and, as far as I can tell, the standard of precision and athleticism is as good as any.


02 Apr 19 - 04:20 PM (#3985576)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Howard Jones

I've never attended a Thaxted Ring Meeting, having formerly been part of a side with women musicians (we were once invited on condition the the women didn't play), so until this programme I hadn't previously seen their version of the Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance , which bears little resemblance to the real thing - far too slow and far too solemn.


02 Apr 19 - 04:20 PM (#3985577)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Howard Jones

I've never attended a Thaxted Ring Meeting, having formerly been part of a side with women musicians (we were once invited on condition the the women didn't play), so until this programme I hadn't previously seen their version of the Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance , which bears little resemblance to the real thing - far too slow and far too solemn.


02 Apr 19 - 07:49 PM (#3985600)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: RTim

The Thaxted version of Abbots Bromley is what Jack Langstaff saw and introduced to America as part of the yearly Revels performance.......as you say NOT the way it is done in AB.....

Tim Radford


03 Apr 19 - 02:18 AM (#3985628)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: DaveRo

I too was surprised by how good the Morris programme was. Howard and DMcG have already made the main points, but I thought the presenter's transition from disinterested documentary maker and half-hearted (and amazing inept) joiner-in to being personally invested in the future of the Manchester team was interesting and relevant. (Unlike most documentarues where the presenter 'tries his hand' at whatever.)

For Folk’s Sake: Morris Dancing and Me

Gardian article

The Arcadia programme referred to:

Arcadia

Arcadia review - a beautifully bonkers montage of Britain's rural past


04 Apr 19 - 04:39 AM (#3985786)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Jim Carroll

Watched a recording of the programme last night- I'm not by any means a Morris fan, but I enjoyed it and found it fascinating, sometimes quite moving
I have to say I found some of the displays on misogyny downright offensive - but that's me
Jim Carroll


04 Apr 19 - 05:33 AM (#3985798)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Roger the Skiffler

I promised my wife I wouldn't say:"Which one is Morris?". So I won't.

RtS


04 Apr 19 - 05:53 AM (#3985802)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Jim Carroll

I found the resemblance in appearance between the presenter and BBC producer Charles Parker spooky
Jim Carroll


04 Apr 19 - 06:22 AM (#3985809)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Mr Red

I found the programme uplifting. It was matter-of-fact in its presentation, yet finished on a note of hope. Thanks for the link.

Different from "The Way of the Morris" which knocked me out. But I gave a copy of the video to a couple, where the lady has embraced clogging and Morris in her retirement, the man is not interested. But they were also knocked-out with the video.
I have never, and will never dance Morris, mainly because I prefer the relative lack of commitment with social dancing, which I do a lot of (Irish Set last weekend - in Ireland - was frantic!). And I value my knees now.


04 Apr 19 - 06:58 AM (#3985821)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: peteglasgow

i agree, mr red. i've never done morris (though my sister does) but i'm very glad that people do it. i thought the programme was very thoughtful and interesting - and that the presenter's initial scepticism and slight cynicism was totally repaired by the end. i very much liked his idea that morris men are indulging in a purely pleasurable activity without the usual way of competition or aggression that men usually engage with each other. sadly, we don't have a functioning morris side in north cumbria as far as i am aware or i may be tempted to give it a go. in the past i didn't want to embarrass my children but now they are in their 30s (and living in scotland or italy) they should be able to cope...


04 Apr 19 - 08:23 AM (#3985855)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Ross Campbell

Corrected link - 27 days left

For Folk’s Sake: Morris Dancing and Me

Ross


07 Apr 19 - 03:59 AM (#3986229)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: GUEST

Thanks for the links peteaberdeen and DaveRo.


07 Apr 19 - 05:11 AM (#3986234)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: GUEST,Jerry

The programme was really about the Morris Ring and their resistance to change. Our Morris side has had both women and men dancers performing mixed sets for at least 25 years now, and at most of the non-Ring Festivals around the UK you will find dozens of women and mixed Morris sides, but the programme tended to suggest it was a new phenomenon, good though it was overall, considering most TV presenters would not seriously have a go themselves.


08 Apr 19 - 07:44 PM (#3986557)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: punkfolkrocker

Me and mrs just enjoyed watching it..
Now that she's packed in the fitness centre to save money,
she needs a substitute for zumba...

Btw.. only one day left to watch "Arcadia" on BBC iplayer...


09 Apr 19 - 11:17 AM (#3986596)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: Jos

I just watched "Arcadia" and was going to comment on it, but first I read the Guardian review and there is very little to add - except that if the dead really do rise from their graves in the way shown, I hope it won't include those self-indulgent idiots prancing about with no clothes on.
People really do look much nicer, and more interesting, with their clothes on.


09 Apr 19 - 11:43 AM (#3986605)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: punkfolkrocker

I found out about Arcadia some time ago and considered starting a thread [ if there's not already one...???]
But then thought it'd probably descend into the usual moaning and misery...

so couldn't be arsed..

I've already listened to the soundtrack on Prime streaming,
which is why this film might be a bit too contentious for mudcat Anne Briggs fans...???

Now I realise I've probably left it too late to watch on iplayer,
unless I can get the wife to go to bed before it expires..
It really needs to be watched in the dark listening with good headphones...


09 Apr 19 - 12:00 PM (#3986609)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: DaveRo

I read the Guardian review of Arcadia before I watched it
What a shower of cheese-rolling, Morris-dancing, nude-prancing, crusty-raving, zebra-riding, dead poodle-grooming, fox-eviscerating, glue-sniffing, environment-despoiling, emotionally constipated, self-deluding, fisticuff-favouring, gothically perverted, crypto-druidical fruitcakes we are.
That seemed a bit OTT. But having watched it I think it's pretty fair. I enjoyed the music.


09 Apr 19 - 02:29 PM (#3986628)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: GUEST,Carol

Thoroughly enjoyed the programme but at times reminded me of the 'Brexit' debate i.e.some people will never agree!


09 Apr 19 - 03:02 PM (#3986633)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: peteglasgow

arcadia was great, but scary - i watched it in the dark as the music got louder and the images less benign. i love all the idiosyncracies and hidden things about our country but didn't see much reassurance for the peace and love hippies in the future. the guys dancing in suits outside the pub is a sweet thing. i felt that much of the film had a sad or disturbing atmosphere with the threat or memory of empire and war, and again these days so many people seem so aggressive and so certain of their bigoted views - i'm worried.


09 Apr 19 - 08:13 PM (#3986674)
Subject: RE: Anyone watching Morris?
From: punkfolkrocker

Arcadia - it expired the moment I finished watching it...

That was bonkers fun...

Not seen or heard anything like it for a long time..

Not since art-house cinema and hallucinogens of my student years...

oh well.. the sofa and a mug of tea had to suffice...