Border Morris

There are several types of Morris dancing, each with their own characteristics - Cotswold with its smart costumes, fluttering hankies and intricate leg waggling; Northwest Morris with its clogs and almost militaristic marching patterns; Border Morris from the border between England and Wales, with its rag jackets, blackened faces, wild stick clashing.

Heb Enw Morris are a Border Morris team. The tradition evolved as a begging custom being performed around Christmas time when work was scarce. Costumes were typically coloured ribbons or rags attached to normal clothes, though even rags made from shredded newspaper were employed and in the latter days of the tradition the dancers simply wore fancy dress costumes. Faces were typically blackened to mask the identities of the dancers as this type of custom has never been much approved of. Dances were usually very simple and were only ever practised for a week or two before the actual performances which usually involved quickly doing the dance, making as much noise and spectacle as possible, collecting money then moving on to another spot to do the same.

These days Border teams meet to practice throughout the year, so dances have evolved to become much more complicated and a team would develop a repertoire of a dozen or so dances, so that we can do displays lasting some time. We don't really go in for begging either, though we've kept the tradition of face blacking, or using coloured face-paints.




Our Dances


See the page entitled `Dance Notations' for all the dances we have done and how we did them over the years. Occasionally we have a bit of a blitz and drop a number of dances so we can bring in new ones. At present our repertoire is as follows, but we will be adding to them over our winter practice season.

From traditional sources:


Upton upon Severn Stick Dance
Evesham Stick Dance
Dilwyn


From other teams:


Belligerent Bluejay
Keel Row
Skirmish

Our own compositions:


Annie Lisle
Brian's Brawl