On Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm, the much acclaimed Brasstown Morris Dancers and their Morris Band will perform in Keith House. Don’t miss the fun. The event is free of charge and an amazing experience.
The Brasstown Morris Dancers is comprised of three individual teams, known as “sides” who perform traditional English morris dances with an American flavor. The group includes a large and wonderful dance band with accordions, fiddles, drums, recorder, bass and guitar. All performers are members of the local community in the Brasstown area. Many work at the folk school and Murphy Medical Center.
The three groups include Rural Felicity Garland Dancers, a women’s side who have been dancing continuously at the folk school since 1983 , Sticks in the Mud Border Morris a mixed side of men and women since 1996, and Dames Rocket Northwest Clog Morris a women’s side founded in 2005.
The groups all wear colorful costumes which include sticks, bells, floral decorated garlands, hankies,rag coats, blue face, and wooden soled clogs. The dance style has been passed down for many centuries in England and was often performed outdoors in the streets of village centers ( near a pub) to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Brasstown Morris Dancers are always present for Fall Festival, Christmas, New Years Eve, and May Day Saturday at the folk school. They have traveled to man other locations to dance at Morris Ales and festivals in New England, the Southeast and the Midwest, and have made four trips to Great Britain to dance with real English Morris sides. Last year they danced in Kenliworth near Stratford upon Avon as the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay passed through the town.
The group promotes the folk school wherever they go. Team leaders include Folk School Resident Artists Nanette Davidson and Martha Owen and band members include Bob Dalsemer, Music and Dance Co-ordinator, and folk school director Jan Davidson.
Here’s the story behind the Morris Dancers as told by Our State Magazine: