15 May 2014

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

MorrisDancing

Saturday my oldest daughter and I needed to run some errands downtown on high street.  I don't like shopping on the weekends with all the crowds.  I was determined to get there when the stores opened, get done and go home.

We started hearing music and seeing people with colorful costumes, laden with bells.  I was a bit curious, but not enough to ask what was going on.

As we made our way to the car through the last square, we came across a group playing drums.



Now, let me tell you, I absolutely love drums!  These guys completely drew me in!  I'm like a little kid, I get giddy over drums like these.  Not only with the drumming, but their lively personalities.  You could tell these guys love what they do!

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

I had no idea who they were though.  We ran into a mom from school who informed me of Morris Dancing.

I LOVE cultural experiences, so I was so happy to come across these guys!  We went home, did some research, grabbed the cameras and came back into town for some more.

I later learned that these guys aren't Morris Dancers.  They are the Pentacle Drummers and so entertaining!

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

They ranged in age from kids to grandmas.

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

Back to Morris dancing, there is little known about the origins of Morris dancing.  There are thoughts that it evolved from springtime rites, others think crusaders brought it to England after the Moorish conquest and some liken it to a form of Italian court dance.  The earliest reference of Morris dancing in England was in 1458.  There are 6 predominant styles of dances from regions across England & Wales.

This group is called the Rampant Rooster Morris, dancing traditional Cotswald and some Border dances (dances originating from counties bordering Wales).

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

This group is the Ewell St. Mary's Morris Men, also dancing in Cotswold styles.  It's a bit humorous how this group got started.  You can read about it on their site.

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

Don't forget the musicians!


Morris Dancing & Pentacle Drummers

So fun to learn a bit more English tradition and culture!
Have you ever heard of Morris Dancing or seen them perform?


16 comments:

  1. I love listening to the drums as well. We just had a parade here in town and only stuck around so we could listen to the drums. What a cool event to stumble on!

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  2. what a party! i love how you just stumbled upon so much history+culture!

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  3. Never heard of this before! But I always love it when you stumble across some sort of cultural event taking place!

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  4. I love this kind of thing, too! And to just stumble across it as you are shopping, all the better! It just puts a smile on your face. Love your photos!

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  5. Ah, I LOVE Morris men - a troupe used to have their post-dance drink in my pub, and even put on a private dance for me & the other customers one night - it was fab!!

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  6. When we first came here to look for a house, we saw Morris dancers in Windsor. I had no idea what they were, but it was sure fun to watch. Love your pictures!

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  7. It's a neat little piece of England's history!

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  8. I was ready to see if I could join their group!! ;)

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  9. They were having such a good time!! It was a fun thing to experience!

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  10. Gosh, I had no idea about Pentacle drummers or the origins of Morris dancing. How fascinating. I'm like you - I love drumming and used to attend a Friday night Adrican drumming circle in Johannesburg.

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  11. A Friday night Adrican drumming circle sounds like SO much fun!!

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  12. Bumping into these guys definitely must have made your Saturday running errands much more exciting!

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  13. You would be more than welcome to join. We are always looking out for new drummers.

    Thank you for your kind words.
    This is one of the Pentacle Drummers favourite events throughout our calendar.

    If you're interested, we are hosting our own festival this Saturday. Check it out at www.thesummersolstice.co.uk

    Peace.
    Greg.
    www.pentacledrummers.co.uk

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