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Morris Dancers

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Uploaded on May 14, 2007

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cotswold morris with handkerchiefsA morris dance is a form of English folk dance. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, tobacco pipes, and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers.

There are English records mentioning the morris dance dating back to 1448,[1] though dances with similar names and some similar features are mentioned in Renaissance documents in France, Italy, Germany, Croatia, and Spain[2]. The origins of the term are uncertain, but one of the most widely accepted theories is that the term was "moorish dance," "morisques" (in France), "moriskentanz" (in Germany), "moreŇ°ka" (in Croatia), and "moresco" (in Italy and Spain), which eventually became "morris dance". Another, perhaps simpler, explanation is that "Morris" comes from the Latin "Moris," meaning "as is the custom." This is consistent with the word (with various archaic spellings) sometimes being used to describe some other folk customs such as folk plays.[3]

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, and there are isolated groups in other countries, for example that in Utrecht, Netherlands.

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