Colchester Morris

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About us
Colchester Morris were founded in 1926 (at that time known as The Colchester Morris Men), disbanded during World War II, re-established  in 1953, and have remained active ever since.  We have been members of "The Morris Ring" since 1935, and although originally a men-only side we are now a mixed side and open to all.  There are many traditions of Morris  dancing throughout the country, and our repertoire is mainly Cotswold  Morris.

Our summer season  often starts with a dancing tour of Colchester town centre and then we  dance regularly on Friday evenings in Colchester and the surrounding  villages – usually at a pub.  The shows normally last for about 30-
45 minutes. It is a long-standing  tradition that we also put on a show for Boxing Day, where we attract  large crowds eager to take the air after the excesses of Christmas Day!   We accept a limited number of bookings (for a modest fee), but we get  booked up early so speak to us in plenty of time.  During the winter  months we regularly practise on Friday evenings.
         
All our dancing is accompanied by traditional instruments, including accordion, concertina, fiddle, pipe & tabor, melodeon and whistle.
         
We are a mixed side with an open membership policy and will welcome anyone keen to participate in the great Morris tradition. If you are interested please contact our Recruitment Officer, Bagman or Squire for more details."
About Morris dancing
Morris dancing or 'The  Morris' is the name given to several forms English ritual dance of  ancient origin. These were usually part of the celebration of a  particular season or event by the community. Some special celebrations  still occur, but many traditions have been lost over the years. Although  the Morris is mostly performed for enjoyment nowadays, it remains a  living part of our cultural heritage.
      
The form of dance  most commonly seen in the southern part of England originates from the  Cotswolds and this is the main part of the repertoire of Colchester  Morris. You may from time to time see North West Morris danced in this area  - the dancers wear clogs and the form of dance  differs from Cotswold quite considerably. Border Morris is also danced  by some of the local sides, and you will notice that the dancers achieve anonymity by camouflaging their faces.  The dancing tends to be rougher and more  boisterous than Cotswold morris, probably because of the anonymity they enjoy!  The East Anglian tradition of Molly dancing can also be seen during the winter months.
      
Further information about Morris dancing can be found at www.themorrisring.org
Fools & Animals

Many sides have a beast or animal used to entertain the crowd. Sometimes these can be quite scary, and our own beast 'Black Shuck' is no exception!   He is a ghostly black dog who is said to roam and haunt the coastline and countryside of East Anglia. Be careful if you see him with his menacing red eyes!



Another person you might sometimes see with us is our 'Fool', whose name needs no further elaboartion.  He'll keep you entertained, and is even known to dart in and out of the dancing.  Our Fool for many years was Jim Appleby, seen here in action collecting from the spectators.


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