other WWW sites.
The Morris comprises a variety of forms of traditional ritual dances
from England, but
The Black Jokers
specialize in Cotswold Morris, as was practiced in the villages
of Bledington and Brackley in the English Midlands.
Morris Dancing is one of the characteristic Folk
Dances of England. Its origins are lost in the
mists of time, derived from the pan-European
agrarian traditions of fertility rites and celebrations
at sowing and harvest-tide.
Though well known during Shakespeare's time, the
Industrial Revolution cut into its constituency so
that by the turn of the century the Morris was
practiced only by a dwindling number of Ale-drinking
pensioners in, what some would call,
the lesser sophisticated villages of the English
Discovered in the nick of time by an itinerant
ethno-musicologist, Morris Dancing was seen as
a hither-to unstudied subject of academic
research, and via publications and other means
enjoyed a revival in Britain. Morris became a
part of the curriculum in schools, new teams
were formed, and over the decades it has spread
throughout the English-speaking world.
Today, the Morris has found a home in
academe, providing research opportunities and
thesis topics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Teams can be found associated with
many prominent institutions of higher
education, among them Marlboro College,
University of Indiana at Bloomington, UCal
Berkeley, and even such conservative
institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, and
M.I.T. Students, staff and faculty alike are
captivated by the potent combination of aerobic
dance and fermented beverages. Ph.D., LL.D.,
MBA and SB join with TA and RA; engineer
and mathematician dance be-side poet and
architect to celebrate the changing seasons.
The colorful sight of the dancers with their bells
and waving hankies, along with the simple yet
played on fiddle,
or melodeon, adds a festive note to
Colloquia such as this, as well as to symposia,
seminars, and lectures. Try it!
You can see and join in the old traditions at their
finest at Sunrise on
Mayday Morning beside the
banks of the Charles River on the Cambridge
side of the Weeks footbridge. For more
information you can contact us as
The Black Jokers
or by network via firstname.lastname@example.org. Out-of-towners can
write to morris-request@INDYCMS.IUPUI.EDU
c/o I. J. Stefanov-Wagner
Post Office Box 410476
Cambridge MA 02141-0005
Morris Teams on the Web,
a public service maintained
by Jeff Bigler of Middlesex Morris is the place to find the latest links,
but here are some that I have had since the early days, when the
number of Morris related WWW sites could be counted on the fingers
of one hand.
Seabright Morris & Sword
in Santa Cruz, California. History, music notation, and a treatise on
music transmission over the Internet.
in Bolton, Massachusetts.
in Arlington, Massachusetts. Schedules, dance notation and sheet music.
Richard Holmes Morris pages
contain additional historical notes, philosophy
and creation myths, as well as
pictures and schedules for Morris in the Syracuse, New York area.
Lemon and Capers
in Eastern Massachusetts; includes creation myths,
dance and music notation.
Bridgetown Morris Men
of Portland, Oregon,
which counts Black Jokers alumnus
David Loftus as a charter member.
The folks at
a shop in San Francisco, have a
of an unorthodox way of wearing Morris bells.
- But is it Morris?
Five men in colorful costume clashing sticks. Traditional, historic,
Morris? Take a look and form your own opinion.
- The Betley Window,
showing a connection between Morris and Mayday from almost 500 years ago.
Banbury Cross Morris - a Boston area children's team, who despite
their age manage to put on a good show of dance at Sunrise on
Corrections, additions or comments?
(if supported by your browser) to the author, email@example.com.
Original June 1, 1995
Last Modified: Aug 8 18:37 EDT 2003 /
Ishmael the Fiddler