Border Morris originates from around the English/Welsh borderlands; the counties of Shropshire, Cheshire and Hereford. Border sides are the scary ones that black up and dress in black clothes with bells and ribbons to taste. Again, border sides lean towards a large band, and dance single step dances with some intricate figures.
NEXT UP! Tuesday 1 May 2018
May Day 'Greet the Dawn'
5.00am, Cassiobury Park, where the paths meet at the river.
Many Cotswold sides will also dance Border, some of them even change their entire repertoire in winter to an all border set; there are further border/cotswold connections, with traditions such as Litchfield and Upton Upon Severn having a distinct border feel to them.
Many new sides have chosen to use Border as the root for variations on the Morris dancing theme, with some concentrating on the brightness of the stepping and intricate movements, some accentuating darker origins of the disquised dance in their attire and trappnigs, and some blooming in the daft side.
And speaking of daft, albeit in a very positive sense: Certainly the wackiest of the Morris traditions, Molly is a very stylised step hop dance, again, often performed with complex figures, and usually involving at least an element of cross dressing (a Molly, in Morris terms, being a man dressed as a woman), and almost always seeking to disconcert the audience in some manner.
Molly comes from the Fenlands of Anglia, and although it is something of a loud minority Morris dance, it is very strong, and very dominant in its heartland. A raft of new teams around the area have joined the old timers in recent years with a definite sense of claiming the dance for their own.
WOODSIDE MORRIS MEN
Squire: Dave Pearse
Foreman: Dave Lang
Bagman: Nick Wilson
Lead Musician: Pete Flanagan
WHY NOT GIVE IT A TRY?
During Winter, we meet at 8.00pm on Wednesday nights in the Pump House's Colne River Rooms, Watford. You would be most welcome to come along.