Wherever you are in Oxford, you’ll never be far from a morris team! We are delighted to showcase many of the different Morris traditions at our festival:
Our local tradition is Cotswold Morris; many of the villages in the Cotswolds have their own style of dance. You'll see dancers waving hankies, and wearing baldricks, waistcoat or rosettes over a shirt, and bells around their knees.
North West Morris is from the villages and towns of Lancashire and Cheshire; the mill workers would come out in their clogs and dance in the streets. The dance style was commonly used in processions, many of the dances have been adapted for to be stationary as well as new ones written.
Welsh Border Morris is from the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. Face paint or masks are often used as a disguise, and the kit usually consists of tatters dangling from a jacket, and a lavishly decorated hat!
Rapper Sword Dancing originates from the mining villages of Northumberland and County Durham; 5 people dance linked using double handed flexible swords, weaving different figures for display.
Clog Step dancing grew out of the industrial areas of Great Britain, with the miners and other labours dancing solo in clogs on the spot, often having competitions as well as performing for pleasure.