Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Saving an endangered species

Now if Morris Men (or women) were wild animals they'd probably be a protected species. Obviously not even their harshest critics would call Morris dancers 'wild animals' so we won't push the analogy too far (and I have sense of where that analogy might end up, so, no more).
Morris dancers provide a lot of entertainment dancing out throughout the summer months and they raise substantial sums of money for charity and they are, well, part of 'our' heritage. (What 'our' means here is a difficult question and so I'll leave that to one side with the wild animals thing).
Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris Men have been entertaining people in the High Peak  - and significantly beyond our borough - for nearly 40 years and they aren't prepared to face extinction without some sort of a fight.
Over the coming months expect the Chapel Morris to offer you the chance to dance with them and, if you like it, join them. From Easter onwards they'll be out dancing most Monday nights. They'll also be popping up for extra events - probably the Buxton Spring Fair on May 5th (more about that anon) - and are planning some introductory dance workshops.
They have already indicated that they hope to be at Fringe Sunday on July 13th and may also be entering the Buxton Film short film competition with a documentary about dancing.
As you can see these guys are in earnest - and there is a Wildean joke to be had there somewhere.
As of today I know 100% of the Morris Men resident in Buxton. If Chapel Morris get their way that proportion may well decline to 50%.
Chapel Morris will be hosting what may well be the biggest day of dancing in Buxton for many a year - on Saturday July 19th - with up to 20 different sides out, demonstrating the full range of Morris styles. It'll make you breathless.