- Headcorn Morris Monday 14th July 2003 at 8:15pm
- Beer Festival Soon (date to be confirmed)
- Music in the Barn Soon (date to be confirmed)
Make a note in your diary for Monday 14th July, the Morris dancers are here.
They will perform in the road outside the pub at about 8:15pm, when finished they normally adjourn into the pub for song and play.
Don't miss it!
(by Headcorn Morris)
Forms of folk dance have existed since time immemorial and many can claim ancient non-Christian origins, but those performed by Headcorn Morris are late entries in the line of folk customs. "Morris" was used as a general term for dance in the time of Shakespeare, but there is still much debate as to what the word really meant. In villages and country areas the dance died out during the Puritan ascendancy of the 17th century, but was revived at the time of the Restoration in a positive attempt by the ministers of Charles II to re-create the supposed "Merrie England" of the past (whilst Charles burned a few witches). Nowhere was the revival more enthusiastic than in the Cotswolds, always a region of staunch support for royalty and it was here that the dances we know today as "Cotswold" Morris developed the forms we recognise.
In the various areas of the country, different, but parallel forms of dance evolved. The wilder and more primitive "Border" Morris from the Shropshire/Herefordshire region, the Molly dances of East-Anglia, the processional dances of the North-West and the sword dances of the North-East are some of the regional variations. Similarly, within the Cotswolds tradition, many different styles grew up in the various villages, frequently developing and changing so that when the Morris was recorded, a vast number of dances were found. For this work we are gratefull to Cecil Sharp, who began collecting dances and tunes at the beginning of the 20th century, when Morris was on the decline due to the migration of young people from the villages to the growing industrial towns. Around 1906 he is known to have trained a number of women's and men's sides in the Tenterden and Cranbrook area. Without his work and that of his followers, we might as well all be at home today.
No identifiable form of Morris has ever been discovered in Kent, so Headcorn Morris, who consist of the men's side formed in 1973 and the woman's side formed in 1977, concentrate principally on the Cotswold dances. We also perform dances developed and subsequently evolved by some of our past and present members so there will be a living Headcorn tradition for the future.
On occasions, you will see "Jason" our Hooden Horse. The Hooden Horse belongs to another tradition of animal disguise, but Jason and others like him are a type found only in Kent.
Please give your support: it may not do much for fertility but our collections do help to perpetuate the music and dances that are part of our country's heritage and we also try to assist some local charities every year.
We hope that you enjoy our performance as much as we do.
We will be having a beer festival in our barn in the latter part of the summer - come back soon to check the date - alternately send us an email and we will let you know the date.
We intend this to be a regular occurrence - Jazz, Folk, Rock - no dates yet sorry.