Joker LogoThe Black Jokers

The Black Jokers are a group of men that began dancing the Morris together in the fall of 1974, and first appeared in public at the New England Folk Festival in April of 1975. Since then we have traveled internationally presenting Cotswold Morris, Border Morris, longsword and rapper sword dances. Upon request, and when circumstances are auspicious, we have even been known to carry antlers in a New World version of the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

The Black Jokers define Folk Dance!

Well, truthfully, not so much define as illustrate the definition. You can see us in the Unabridged American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd Edition, above "folk dance". The photograph in the dictionary was taken at the Cape Ann Folk Life Festival in Gloucester, Massachusetts, some time in the early 1980s. (Thanks and a tip of the hat to Peter Masters of Newtowne Morris Men for alerting us.)

When we dance outside we often distribute a descriptive brochure.
Ou, quand nous faire le tour de Canada, le même en français.


Group Photo


Those with adequate bandwidth and a suitable viewer can choose to see a large color picture (JPEG, 834 x 564, 104k) of us taken at the New England Folk Festival (back in April 1988, but we haven't aged all that much...). Or you can check out our Photo Gallery, complete with thumbnails and listings of file sizes.

Our hobby-horse has made several appearances in print and even has a page of his own.

We Perform!

Our goal is to present the Morris in a way that is exciting for the audience, true to the tradition, and enjoyable for us. We can be seen dancing in and around the Boston area at various times of the year, particularly the New England Folk Festival in April, at Sunrise on Mayday, Harborfest in July, the Revels, Harvest fairs, the IgNobel Prizes ceremony, the UMass Dartmouth Eisteddfod and First Night.

Participate

We are always looking for men who would like to dance the Morris with us. Experience is not so important as enthusiasm, energy, and a willingness to learn and practice.

Contacting Us

For more information you can contact us as
The Black Jokers
c/o I. J. Stefanov-Wagner
Post Office Box 410476
Cambridge MA 02141-0005
or by network via ijs@mit.edu or our Bagman, Jeff Howry at jeffh@world.std.com. We practice Thursday evenings part of the year in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Corrections, additions or comments?
Send email (if supported by your browser) to the author, ijs@mit.edu.
Copyright © 1994 The Black Jokers, all rights reserved.
Last Modified: May 28 22:17 EDT 2003 / ijs@mit.edu