Super Awesome Clog Dancing For All Ages And Abilities in Littleborough - We Got A Gig - So Practise Practise Practise
Wow, It's Tuesday again. Was last week like a whirlwind for you too? Anyway, tonight's the night to come and clog. We've actually got a gig lined up now, the week before Rushbearing, so hopefully we'll have a few dances, and our attire all sorted by then. However, we need to make sure we practise, practise, practise . Also, there's been some great articles in the media this week about the resurgence of Morris, and droves of people wanting to take it up. So, be proud that you are part of something brilliant, popular, skillful, traditional, and the new Rock 'N' Roll.
If you've got any friends, neighbors, strangers, that might want to get involved, please encourage them to do so. It's not just about dance, it's our heritage, and it needs not just protecting, but showcasing.
Here's one of those great articles: Clicky the Picky
Rossendale Clog Heritage Dance-Out at Wycoller Festival of Wonders
Dancing at the Festival of Wonders. Performance time will be 1.30pm; meet up time to be confirmed. Further details posted in the Rossendale Clog Heritage group area.
Oakenhoof Dance-Out at Bury Transport Museum
We've been invited to dance-out at Bury Transport Museum for the Morris Marina Owners club National Show. Please meet at 10.30 in your Oakenhoof gear ready to dance at 11... Angela, I'll bring your belt. Anyone who needs a lift or an adult to take their offspring, let me know! Hels :)
We were lucky enough to be privy to a short notice performance by local fiddle player, Nicola Beazley, and Somerset lad Alex Cumming, on vocals and accordion, at The Pack Horse Inn, Old Birtle. It amazes me that so much music can resonate from only two people. It's clear that these two are not only professional and highly skilled at their craft, but have done a lot of rehearsal, performance, and study together.
It was a very apt venue, a rustic country pub, with real fires and real ale. So, for me anyway, there seemed to be a real synergy between the music and the venue. Also, because it was a short notice performance, and on Monday night, it wasn't overly busy. Which made it feel even more cosy and personal. They performed numerous sets, of which I can't remember many titles, mainly because I was just so chilled absorbing the music, but also because the morning after there's a bit of a merge of tunes in my head.
Aside from their excellent musicianship, Alex is quite an entertaining compare too: getting numerous laughs from the audience, without being daft or puerile. More importantly, his skills on the accordion were mesmerising, and confidence in delivering a song, validated. Nicola's craft on the fiddle is equally mesmerising, with a real soulful range of tones, timbres, and tempos. They played a few of her own compositions, which were well crafted and performed flawlessly. Nicola also did a hauntingly beautiful Gaelic solo piece which silenced the pub, until the applause of course.
All in all, I feel quite privileged to have known about it, and blessed to have attended. I hope a wider local audience is blessed with their performance again soon...
I love the Britannia Coconut Dancers - and we've been going to their Easter Saturday parade every year for a few years now, in all weathers. Nothing better than catching the bus to Bacup and getting off at the Travellers rest around 9am, following the dancers down into Bacup, where there are pies and beer a-plenty.
The dancers and the band are brilliant and their tune is the best earworm you can get; you'll be humming it all over the Easter Weekend, with a perky nod of the head and a jolly smile on your face.
Britannia Coconutters Easter Saturday Parade
Starting at the Travellers Rest on the road from Whitworth at around 9 am, the 'nutters will dance down into the centre of Bacup, for a display in the town centre at lunchtime, then they split into groups and parade around different parts of the town.
The Black Nan Folk Band?
Second meetup of the "House Band" possibly The Black Nan Band. We're getting a set together for the dancers to dance to, and musical interludes. You can find the dots and chords Here!
Super Awesome Clog Dancing For All Ages And Abilities in Littleborough - Pat Tracey's Old Lancashire Routine
It's getting on for Easter and the green shoots of our cloggin' are definitely budding. Just a little more nurture and nourishment and there's blossom around the corner.
We're on our second dance: Pat Tracey's Old Lancashire Routine which is a really exciting dance, and has great provenance in these here parts ;0)
So, come along old and new, learn some steps and drink some brew!
A Magical Event For Easter Weekend
Faery Fun and Frolics for all the family.
Two day faery craft fayre
Free entry / pet friendly / free workshops (Donations welcome)
Sat 19th April, 2pm - 3pm Wasyl Kolesnikov will give a talk on: "Return to the Source". Reclaim more of your own power (Ki Energy). 1st to your source. 2nd then link with the 'Source' - ongoing power and development. Followed by Tai Chi demonstration.
Andrew Vinter Hope will lead a Shamanic drumming circle so please bring your drums. Andrew is also generously donating a drum, hand made by himself as a raffle prize.
Mad Hatters Cafe offering a selection of warm and cold beverages and CAKIES
Free childrens day time craft activities provided by Audie Pendle Fae and Lisa Fairy of the 3 fairies, in the Kiddies Krazy Kraft Korner x including wand making, peg pet making and a faery hunt
Fantastical Faery Ball In The Evening With Live Music From Leafblade
This is a fund raising event for the Fielden Centre Charity
Please email email@example.com for an application to trade and / or more details.
"I've heard you're doing a bit of clog dancing?" I get asked by friends with a pitiful brow and worried look in the eye. "Yes" I reply, and begin to explain the importance of our cultural heritage and how we can not only support it by joining in, but that it's good fun too, great music, etc, etc.. "Ah, but at least you're not doing Morris though", I've had as a retort. It's like I'm part of a spoof of Grange Hill's "Just Say No" campaign in the eighties: "Well a couple of my friends were cloggin', so I thought I'd try it, I tried a bit of Border, North West, but now I'm a full on Britannia Coconutter, dancing at least ten times a day. My wife's left me, I've lost my job, and I've been locked up on numerous occasions for Morris dancing likely to result in a breach of the peace". It's totally bonkers and irrational!
I was wondering where this fear, or dismissal, of our own cultures came from? Is it all the "and finally" or quirky articles on the News and current affairs, or satirical banter based game / chat programmes: with people like Stephen Fry on QI saying "Morris isn't that historically significant because it's only a few hundred years old." I think the history of the past few hundred years has been the most significant period in the history of man: The Industrial Revolution, Big Empires, Colonialism, Mechanised Warfare, and the Feudal system changing to a different kind of Feudal system..... However, in essence, there is a great deal of poo pooing regarding traditional dance culture in England, not just by the mainstream media, but by popular culture in general.
In the rest of the Union, it is positively encouraged, promoted, paid for, televised and touristificated. In England, our culture has become so Americanised, we look to Scotland, Ireland, And Wales for traditional music and dance culture, and think we don't have any. At school, my daughter can do "Cheerleading", "Hip-Hop", or "Street Dance" but not Clog, or Morris. English children are being taught 20th century American dance styles, at the expense of what was once our own dance style. Rochdale has it's own dance, just like Britannia, Bacup, has it's own dance. Most towns and villages, in these parts anyway, would have had their own dances: depicting stories and culture from that place. It's sad that most of those dances have been lost. There should be funding to protect, maintain and teach about our local culture for schools. Since the Union has been devolving, the breakaway countries have been connecting more stongly with their cultural arts than ever before. It would be only fitting that we were encouraged to connect with our own.
So, the frowny questions I've been asked have done nothing but make me more resolute in my belief that Morris and Clog are the new rebellion. I feel like I did when I wore a safety pin in my torn school blazer in the days of punk. Then when you see not only the fantastic traditional Morris sides, enjoying life with good friends, dancing, drinking beer and generally having a really good time, but also, some of the new avant garde Morris sides juxtaposing Steam punk, or burlesque with Morris, I think, "Yes, this is a great way to rebel from the mundane, contrived, commercialised World of vapid pap!" This is the old new rock 'n' roll...
I was going to call this Blog, "Morris Dancing Doesn't Kill Your Kittens", but while practising in the living room............well...... I only got it's tail, but, Morris Dancing could kill your kittens..... :0)