Onwards and upwards, well through the roster of committed acts for Dancing England 2017 anyways!
Appearing at the very first Dancing England in 1979 and with a repeat appearance in 1983, are the claimants of 600 years of morris dancing history; Bampton Traditional Morris Men.
Claims have often been made that the performance of Morris dancing in Bampton at anything up to six hundred years. While this may actually be true, there is simply no evidence to support such a claim. The first written reference discovered (so far, at least) occurs as late as 1847, although that source clearly indicates that the performances by the dancers were a regular annual feature of Bampton life at that date.
Further evidence, less precise but none the less convincing, can be teased from the names of men known to be dancers. Two of these were born in the 1770’s, and given that men typically joined the dance set when aged about eighteen or twenty, it seems logical to assume that there had been Morris performances in Bampton during the 1790’s. To read more of their history, please click to their WEBSITE.
Moving steadily eastwards to the Fens of Norfolk via Kent, we introduce to you; Seven Champions Molly. Veterans of Dancing England 1986 and world renowned treacle miners
Formed in 1977 with the ambitious but slightly vague aim of “being the best Morris dance side in the country”, the Seven Champions started life with the Mummers Play that gave them their name and a rough reel dance. This was followed by extensive research into what was known about Molly dancing – at that point a highly obscure (and as far as they knew at the time) undanced tradition hailing from the Fens and danced in Winter by out of work ploughboys.
It quickly became clear that there were a lot of gaps in the knowledge of what Molly dancing was and that gave the Champions a golden opportunity to reinvent, imagine and create the best possible combination of tradition and street entertainment. Again, above text shamelessly purloined from their website, click HERE to carry on reading.
And finally, another 20 tickets sold over the weekend, do make haste if you want to come along! Tickets are online purchases and are available HERE.