David Winn, long time proponent of International Folk Dance and Morris Dance in Victoria & BC, died Sunday 17 August 2014
Event - Fred's NineT AleSee Ale
About the Morris
Overheard, "When does the Morris dancing start?"
"Oh, in about two pints."
Morris dance, that mildly mystical form of folk dance from old Blighty thrives on this edge of the continent. Not so inexplicably, as Victoria has been described by some as more English than England
Who we are
Youth sides, or "Morris Minors" in the vernacular, have popped up, often seasonally in Campbell River, and a few years ago in Victoria
What we do
We maintain and create the traditions of several styles of this public folk dance.
We "Dance out" or perform throughout the year, especially in the summer, at farm markets, community fairs, various events or locales (invite us to your brewery or cidery!), often right out in the streets. Also, we gather for May Day mornings, perform Mummers plays toward or during the Yule season and have special dance outs for such times as St. George's Day in April, and the Canada Day picnic along The Gorge in Victoria and in various community events on Gabriola Island
This is a performance, ritual or "display" dance style, as
many Folk dances generally are. It takes dedication and just a bit of time
to learn. This is what we say anyway. Ask us about it, maybe over a pint, and between songs
Spread throughout the islands are individual dancers & musos, British expats, the makings of some nascent sides, and good friends willing to host shenanigans, dance outs and pub sings. Let's find the spark to build more sides. A few of our sides are generally available to visit, perform or perhaps hold a workshop anywhere on the Islands
Quicksbottom Morris, once the Men's Side of ITM (when IT was a Joint Side), has continued in the Welsh Border style of Morris and, after becoming standalone (2005), became a mixed side (men & women)
Drumbeggar Border Morris of Gabriola Island first danced out in the spring of 2012. A few members are former stalwarts of the Morris & folk song scene in Vancouver and great friends of the existing Island sides
Morris dance merry making - May Day, the first of May. Clover Point, Victoria. 0530 - 0630. Yes, 5:30 a.m. After all we wish to be dancing before the sun rises at 0553! A May Pole, Morris dances, circle & other dances for all. Come along. Also see Ric's North American Morris May Day page
For those wishing to join in Morris dance & music, exchange communication about it, or gather more info in an active manner, contact any of the sides. See their web pages. The webmaster will be happy to answer general questions about local Morris dance
A good start for reading about the Morris may be the VI Morris Links page. (Will be transferring those here by July 2015)
ITM (Monday) & QBM (Wednesday) practise in various parks throughout the summer. Please contact them for location information. The rest of the year -- QBM is at the View Royal Community Assoc. hall. HTM uses the Scout Hall in Fairfield, on Tuesdays and often takes the summer off practise, exclusively dancing out. Most activities are finished with the requisite visit to the pub. For more information see their individual web sites
Occasionally an Ale will pop up in the region, to which many sides stream, process or caper.
An Ale, or parish Ale to be correct, was once a church parish function, sort of a day of social welfare. It incorporated drink (ale, natch), entertainment (Morris dancers!), and food. The name was taken over by the Morris for gatherings when the former activity dried up, so to speak
Seattle sides may be found via Seattle Dance.org
A major regional gathering that attracts the Morris is NW Folklife Festival in Seattle over the USA Memorial Day weekend in May. Sides from BC, WA, and OR dance out there and socialise. Occasional individual representatives from some sides make an appearance, e.g. Anchorage, AK