Oxblood Molly Day of Dance 17th March 2018

The Beast from the East was back!  Russian snow!  Just the weather for a day of dance!  There is a saying in Suffolk that “there’s nothing between us and the Urals”.  For once local lore and the Met Office agreed: the sun was not to shine on Oxblood Molly’s 4th Day of Dance in Halesworth.

Oxblood Molly (photo John Heaser)

Read more: Oxblood Molly Day of Dance 17th March 2018

MORRIS SHORTS - Brief news from the world of Morris

The Dancing Out Season Starts Soon

As the "Beast from the East" goes back home (Russia is suspected!) and we are promised warm weather next week here's a timely reminder from Giles that the Morris dancing summer season will be starting soon.  Hageneth and loads of other sides will be at Hundon, near Haverhill, for the 10th anniversary of the Belchamp MM event on 22nd April. 

Let's hope it's not raining; remember, "it never rains on the Morris!"

 Dave Evans (with thanks to Brian Francis of Hageneth who found this press cutting)

 

HOLT RIDGE MORRIS (Mixed Cotswold) have moved and now (12th April 2018) practice on a Monday evening (8-10pm) at Marsham Village Hall except on the second Monday of the month when they can be found at Aylesham Village Hall. Contact: Mick Selvey 01953 882453 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Evans (info from Jill Parson)

 

Halesworth Day of Dance; Oxblood tames the mini Beast from the East

 

The wonderfully warm Rifle Hall, Halesworth

Congratulations to Oxblood Molly for planning ahead and managing to put on a successful day of dance despite the return of snow and below zero temperatures.  Oxblood correctly anticipated that nobody would want to dance outside, especially as there would be no audience.  At the last minute they managed to book a warm indoor venue and the 14 sides that braved the weather were rewarded with dancing in the warmth of the Rifle Hall in Halesworth.  10 sides had to drop out as the snow had made some roads in Essex impassable.

(For a full report see Gill's article on Oxblood Molly Day of Dance 17th March 2018)

Dave Evans

 

Weavers Morris - All Up  

Mick Wade of Weavers Morris contacted Mardles to let us know that "due to membership problems" Weavers Morris a mixed Cotswold side based in North Walsham has decided to wind-up.  They were founded in 1995 and have been regular visitors to the famous Lobster Pottie festival in Sheringham.  They had an active programme until last year and danced at various village events in North Norfolk, including the Mundesley Lifeboat Day.  They have been good fund-raisers for local charities including for "Nelson's Journey" which supports children and young people that have experienced the death of a significant person in their life.  As far as is known no collection has been organised for Weavers Morris!

 

 

Mark Jones Day of Dance 2018

“Me pals were all agog at the kit of the mollies, misfits and glorious champions hailing from Good Easter to the Washes and who got the blood racing on the Mark Jones Day of Dance in January.” 

How many references to Molly sides can you find in the above sentence?  Contrived I know, but somewhere you will find references to all the molly sides who were dancing on that day.  No prizes for getting them all right. 

Some years ago Cotswold Morris and Molly dancer Mark Jones tragically lost his life in a car accident and this Day of Dance, organised by Ouse Washes Molly Dancers in and around Ely, is regularly held in his memory.  With Ouse Washes, gathering to mark the occasion were Gog Magog, Good Easter Molly Gang, Kit Witches, Mepal Molly, Misfits, Old Glory, Oxblood and Seven Champions – Molly dancers all.  One of Mark’s favourite songs was “Rolling Home” and at the first stop this was the music for a massed molly dance “Birds a Building”.

                      

Ouse Washes get things started at the Mark Jones Day of Molly Dance

Read more: Mark Jones Day of Dance 2018

Milkmaid Molly - "Buddies" and Musicians needed

Milkmaid Molly founded in 2012 is part of Milkmaid Folk Arts, a Community Interest Company, offering a place of welcome and acceptance for people with disabilities and those without who meet on equal terms and find companionship. The Milkmaid’s ethos is to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people to build a life that is both fulfilling and rewarding through the joy of music, art and performance.

 

We meet at Station Hill Social Club, 1 Station Hill, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 6AD on the first Thursday of each month promptly at 07.30 pm and finish by 09.00 pm. Both the Buddies and the Mollies would be so grateful if you could come along and help for just an hour and a half once a month. We are also looking for more musicians. Next meeting 1st March 2018.

Milkmaid Molly have a core of people with Learning Disabilities who choose to be called the ‘Mollies’ and a group of dance “Buddies” who assist the Mollies. The idea has proved so popular that we have a large number of Mollies but need more Buddies. Assisting with the Mollies does not mean you have to be in any way super fit or have any dance experience, Buddies just help with steering in the right direction when we perform very simply adapted Molly dances. The Buddies have more complicated routines of their own and during the evening to give the Mollies a rest from dancing we invite them together with our regular musicians to play for us. The Mollies enjoy playing percussion instruments, or in some cases their own guitars or mouth organs. Every practice we have fun, lots of laughs and have all made some good friends.

If you are fleet of foot and wish to take part in more intricate dances please come along on the third Thursday of the month as well when the Buddies have a practice alone concentrating on more complicated dances. During the summer both branches of the team have performed together Euston Rural Pastimes Country Fair, Ely Folk Festival and Oxjam.

If you wish to join us please ring Gill 01284 767476, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., look on line at www.milkmaidmusic.co.uk or just turn up on the night we would love to meet you.

Jan Robinson; Milkmaid Molly

Milkmaid Molly performing at Ely Folk Festival 2013

Belles of London City to join the “Men only” Morris Ring? I don’t think so.

The Belles of London City

The Morris Ring founded in 1934 may not survive to celebrate its 100th birthday as a fundamental change to its constitution is being proposed which will end the "men only" dancer rule.

Adam Garland, recent past Squire of the Ring, wrote in the “Morris Ring Circular” magazine in July last year with his reflections on his two years in office (2014 -16).  He reminded readers that Morris has a long history in England and has evolved during that period.  In the twentieth century the Morris Ring saw itself as the custodian of the Morris tradition but in the twenty-first century, under Adam's leadership, it "permitted" Ring sides to include women musicians and then ensured "that Ring Meetings should be open to all members of all clubs".  Adam argued in his article that the Ring should go further as a “change in the Ring constitution to welcome women dancers as members of the Morris Ring is long overdue”.

At the time I wondered why any side with women dancers would want to join the (almost) all male Morris Ring; surely existing sides are happy to join one of the alternative organisations, the Morris Federation or Open Morris and with these alternatives why would a new side want to join the Ring. 

Read more: Belles of London City to join the “Men only” Morris Ring? I don’t think so.

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