MORRIS TRADITIONS: NORTHWEST CLOG
Predominantly danced in clogs, North west Morris was one of the stars of the revival of the 1970s. Although there are many well established, traditional men's sides, the tradition is one in which womens sides proliferate; it is also a popular traditon for mixed sides, with a style that can compliment the physical differences between the gendres. Its roots are, believe it or not, in the industrial northwest of England, mostly from within Lancashire and Cheshire.
NEXT UP! WEDNESDAY 24 MAY 2017
8.00pm, THE COACH AND HORSES, Croxley Green, WD3 3HX
9.15pm, THE BLACK HORSE, Chorleywood, WD3 5EG
Rivington Northwest Clog Morris at Woodsides Day of Dance, 1989North West dances are usually made up of a polka step, known as ranting, mixed with some single step (step hop), with the occasional bit of intricate stepping. although the tradition shares many figures and choruses with its southern cousin, in Northwest they tend to be more complex, sometimes resolving over a number of passages of the tune.
One of the most noteable differences between the two predominant traditions is the performance of music; whereas Cotswold sides are happy dancing with a single musician, North West teams tend to prefer as big a band as possible, with brass, drums, strings, wind and Melodeons. The lot.
An evolution of Northwest Morris that has continued without hiatus through the tewntieth century and into the twenty-first is Carnival Morris (also known as Fluffy and Competition Morris). The two styles are recognisably related but with Carnival Morris, the figures have become more regimented, reflecting the competition element that is essential to the tradition. Costumes have also continued to be modernised, as has the music, which tends now to be modern tunes played over a PA. Carnival Morris is not seen in general as part of the broader Morris family.
Carnival Morris dancers from 1947
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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.
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