Conference 1: Histories of the Morris in Britain (2017)

Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Road, London NW1 7AY, 25-26 March 2017

Morris dance has been an enduring feature of British culture for more than six centuries. The Histories of the Morris in Britain was a two-day conference held at Cecil Sharp House on the 25th and 26th March 2017, organised by the Historical Dance Society and the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

The proceedings have now been published, and can be bought from the Historical Dance Society Publications or The Folk Shop. The papers can be download free of charge from The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Edited by Michael Heaney, papers cover the latest in morris dance research and are an invaluable addition to our understanding of this enduring feature of British culture. Topics ranged from the early days of morris dance as found in the Jacobean court, to revival and formation of women’s sides, alongside explorations of context, costume, and competing art forms.

The History of History

John Forrest – How to read The History of Morris Dancing

Anne Daye – Morris and Masque at the Jacobean Court

Jennifer Thorp – Rank Outsider or Outsider of Rank: Mr Isaac’s Dance ‘The Morris’

Jameson Wooders – ‘Time to Ring Some Changes’: Bell Ringing and the Decline of Morris Dancing in the Earlier Eighteenth Century

Michael Heaney – Morris Dancers in the Political and Civil Process

Peter Bearon – Coconut Dances in Lancashire, Mallorca, Provence and on the Nineteenth-Century Stage

The Early Revival

Katie Palmer Heathman – ‘I Ring for the General Dance’: Morris and Englishness in the Work of Conrad Noel

Matt Simons – ‘Pilgrimages to Holy Places’: the Travelling Morrice, 1924-1939

Roy Fenton – ‘Destruction not Inscription’: How a Pioneering Revival Side Developed

Elaine Bradtke – Morris Tunes Collected by James Madison Carpenter

The Later Revival

Sue Allan – Merrie England, May Day and More: Morris Dances in Cumbria in the Early Twentieth Century

Derek Schofield – A Different Sort of Revival: The Life and Times on the Manley Morris Dancers

Sean Goddard and Ed Bassford – Consequences of Bringing North-west Morris to the South-east of England: The Chanetonbury Ring Effect

Robert Dunlop – Morris Dancing at Kirtlington Lamb Ale: Heyday, Decline and Revival

Women in Morris

Sally Wearing – What to Dance? What to Wear? The Repertoire and Costume of Morris Women in the 1970s

Val Parker – The Women’s Morris Federation – from Start to Finish

Lucy Wright – This Girl Can Morris Dance: Girls’ Carnival Morris Dancing and the Politics of Participation

Material Culture

Chloe Metcalfe – Why do Morris Dancers Wear White?

David Petts – Materializing Morris Dancing: Tangible Aspects of an Intangible Heritage

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