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Discworld Convention 2008 - UK

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Lancre Morris Men [Apr. 28th, 2010|07:26 pm]
Discworld Convention 2008 - UK



Lancre Morris Men

I've been thinking about the Lancre Morris men - I've offered to do a Morris workshop at Discworld.

What type of morris do they dance?

Here's what the Discworld wiki says:

Morris has evolved in many traditions, but it is usually a competitive form of group dancing using props (handkerchiefs, bells, sticks, swords) and pitting sides against each other in team precision and individual skill in athletic steps. Sides may have from four to ten performers but the Ramtops version calls for teams of eight: six dancers, a musician and a spare (in the very likely event of injury.) The extra man may also act as the "Fool", mocking and pretending to interfere with the dancers or passing the hat among the spectators. Outside Lancre Town there are eight standing stones known as The Dancers; one of the named individual stones is "the Piper".

The Lancre Morris Men are six-time champions of the Fifteen Mountains All-Comers tournament. The Ramtops style is rather more athletic and, perhaps, competitive, than many, and seems similar to Rugby in potential for injury. The Stick and Bucket Dance, particularly, has resulted in many long-term disabilities.

As one of their number said he once watched a bunch of cissy townsfolk trying it and there "wasn't even a groinin' in an hour", it seems that the whole point of the Lancre version is to triumph through the artistic application of fighting moves. Somewhat like ninjitsu. Which explains how the Lancre Morris Men manage to so effectively batter so many elves during the long night's dance during the events Lords and Ladies.

Note that this is a dangerous, competitive and probably combative dance.  All of which reminds me of the cartoon series 'The Cloggies' by Bill Tidy.

The Cloggies, an Everyday Saga in the Life of Clog Dancing Folk was a long running cartoon by Bill Tidy which ran in the satirical magazine Private Eye from 1967 to 1981, and later in The Listener from 1985 to 1986. It gently satirised northern British male culture, and introduced a shocked nation to the scurrilous delights of Lancashire clog-dancing. This particular variation of the art involved two teams dancing towards each other in formation, followed by each attempting to cripple their opponents with gracefully executed knee- and foot- moves.

Remind you of the Lancre men?

In fact, 'Lancre' sounds a lot like 'Lancashire'...

'Lancashire clog dancing' is, of course, another name for North West morris.  (the vast majority of NW dances come from Lancashire and we're the only morris dancers to wear clogs) (it's different from Cotswold morris)

Which means that the Lancre men dance North West!  Yay!

So, who's coming to the workshop and does anyone want to offer their services as a musician?


[User Picture]From: hypatia
2010-04-28 06:28 pm (UTC)
Did you mean this to go into discworld_2010?

Sorry I thought I'd closed this one down for new entries!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: watervole
2010-04-29 07:11 am (UTC)
Oops. Thanks for spotting that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)