Sunday, May 17, 2009

THE BERKSHIRE MORRIS MEN
COME TO THE
HUDSON-CHATHAM WINERY




A morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers. In a small number of dances for one or two men, steps are performed near and across a pair of clay tobacco pipes laid across each other on the floor.

There are claims that English records of the morris dance dating back to 1448 exist, but these are open to dispute. There is no mention of "morris" dancing earlier than the late 15th century, although early records such as Bishops' "Visitation Articles" mention sword dancing, guising and other dancing activities as well as mumming plays. Furthermore, the earliest records invariably mention "Morys" in a court setting, and both men and women are mentioned as dancing, and a little later in the Lord Mayors' Processions in London. It is only later that it begins to be mentioned as something performed in the parishes. There is certainly no evidence that it is a pre-Christian ritual, as is often claimed.

In the modern day, it is commonly thought of as a uniquely English activity, although there are around 150 morris sides (or teams) in the United States. British expatriates form a larger part of the morris tradition in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. There are isolated groups in other countries.


video

On Saturday, May 16, the Berkshire Morris Men brought their high-stepping hijinx and merriment to the Hudson-Chatham Winery! They were awesome. Watch the video and go to their hilarious website for fun and frivolity.


video

We hope to have a more formal presentation of their performance next year, when we can properly promote them! Thanks guys!
You can visit their website at: http://www.berkshiremorris.net/

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