The AntiMorris: Frequently Anticipated Questions

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Nobody has actually asked us any questions yet, but if we're going to call ourselves "RTFM", we should really have a FAQ. So this is our "Frequently Anticipated Questions" page.

About the AntiMorris

What, exactly, is the "AntiMorris"?

The "AntiMorris" is our term for the other [morris] dance that Terry Pratchett describes in Reaper Man. You can read the relevant quotation on this web site.

History

How long has this been going on?

Ravenswood Morris, of Chicago, started doing it in autumn 1999. Recently Traditional Fictional Morris (RTFM) was formed when a trio of former Ravenswood Morris dancers moved to Boston in 2001 and wanted to continue the tradition. They recruited a sufficiency of additional personnel, and the dancing goes on.

Other AntiMorris Dancers

Does anybody else do it?

Ravenswood Morris of Chicago and White Rat's (Experimental) Morris are the only other sides we know of that perform the AntiMorris.

Why

Why do you do it?

Because we're Terry Pratchett fans. Because it's a silly thing to do. Because we think balance in the world might be a good thing. Because you don't have to get up so early to dance at dusk. Because the sun might not go down if we don't. Or, in Terry Pratchett's own words, to kill the trees and make the frost flowers bloom.

When

When do you perform it?

October 31, starting around 4:30pm. The dancing continues until after sunset, which is at about 4:39pm local time.

Where

Where do you perform?

RTFM dances the AntiMorris at the Somerville Community Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave., Somerville.

Kit

What do the dancers wear?

The "official" kit (costume) is black shirt & trousers, white bell pads with black sound-absorbing "bells", white shoes, and a hat that's not part of a morris kit for another side.

Terry Pratchett's Response

Does Terry Pratchett know about it? What does he think of it?

Oh yes. He definitely approves, and is quite amused by it.

Join Us

How can I get involved?

If you're not already doing so, start dancing with a Cotswold morris side, to learn the style and some of the dances. Then, simply get in touch with us and tell us you're interested.

At The End of the Performance

If it's a silent dance, are people supposed to clap at the end?

Audience members can do whatever they want, but a "tradition" has sprung up of clapping silently (with the hands not quite making contact).

What else happens after the performance is over?

When the final dance ends, the dances will lead a silent procession through the labyrinth. Feel free to join in, just please maintain silence. After emerging from the labyrinth, the dancers of RTFM will quietly disperse, not to be seen again until next year.

However, as with that other dance that's done in the springtime, if you do happen to see one of the dancers afterwards, it's also traditional to buy beer for them.

Other Related Activities

Are there other related activities that happen that evening?

Yes. After the AntiMorris, the evening's festivities are far from over, because very shortly thereafter The Paper Bag Mummers (PBM) convene just outside the gates of the growing center and perform a short play. This performance marks the starting point of PBM's annual "Oxford Street Souling Tour", in which the group processes from the growing center to the far end of Oxford Street, performing a soul-caking play wherever they find an audience along the way. For more on the Paper Bag Mummers, check out their website, at http://homepage.mac.com/lynnoel/programs/Mummers.html.


Last modified: Mon Jan 23 14:54:07 2006 by Jeff Bigler