The exciting sights and sounds of traditional English Morris Dancing will be on display in the Harlem Valley region during late July and early August as performers of the American Travelling Morrice present a week-long series of shows in communities throughout Columbia County and surrounding areas in the Hudson Valley and southwest Massachusetts.
The American Travelling Morrice is comprised of dancers and musicians from across the USA. Originally composed of men from Binghamton, NY and Boston, the group has grown to include dancers from across the nation, as well as several men from Canada and England. While most of these men dance regularly with teams in their home towns, they come together for one week each year to form the American Travelling Morrice.
Morris dancing is an old English country tradition. Its origins are lost in the mists of forgotten time, but pictorial and written references date back to the 15th century. In his day, Shakespeare cherished the Morris as an ancient custom and he made allusions to it in many of his plays. The dances you will see performed, using sticks or handkerchiefs, have their origins in Cotswold villages. Many villages such as Longborough, Bampton, Bledington, Oddington and Sherborne had their own tradition and if you watch carefully, you may be able to spot the differences.
We are in the early planning stages for this year's tour and are still seeking venues where we might be welcome to perform. Contact Steve Bluestone for information.