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Morris Dancing in the Hills

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by Naomi Parry (subscribe)
An avid
Jingle bells, clapping sticks, fluttering handkerchiefs

Copyright Naomi Parry
Red Raven Morris Dancers

On a typical Melbourne winter's morning, there's nothing better than heading for the hills to experience all sorts of delights. The Dandenongs are well known for their excellent coffee shops and cafés as well as leading restaurants, so it's always great fun to find something extra special to be involved with for an hour or more before choosing where to eat.

Mid-morning, on Saturday June 22nd, the Red Raven Morris Dancers will be performing in the small grassed area outside Rainy Day Books at the roundabout, corner Mountain Highway and Forest Road, The Basin.

Copyright Naomi Parry
Red Raven Morris Dancers

The Red Raven Morris Dancers perform traditional Morris dancing with varying styles and include handkerchief dancing as well as stick dancing. It's hard not to watch without toe tapping and clapping. Morris Dancing is usually performed by a team of dancers opposite each other in two lines of three.

Morris Dancing originated in England around the 1300s, and there are three different styles. Cotswold, Border and North-West. With such a variety, there's always something different happening within the tone of any one dance sequence. While the costumes the Morris Dancers wear these days owe their origins to around the 1840s, they are described as being "modern" by Morris Dancers - they are quite spectacular in colour and design.

The Morris Dancers are passionate about their craft, and this shows in the infectiousness of their movements and interaction duruing the dances. And they have to be fit to keep actively moving as fast as the dances and accompanying music persuade them.

Copyright Naomi Parry
Red Raven Morris Dancers

Those who were fortunate enough to see the Red Raven Morris Dancers at The Basin last year, were unanimous in their applause and agreement that this was an event that really coloured the Basin on a grey winter's day.

The 2013 performance on Saturday 22nd June will be an experience not to be missed. There's no charge, and everyone will have a fun time.

If anyone is interested in joining the Red Raven Morris Dancers - they practise on Tuesdays usually the first Tuesday of the month: at The Stables Hall, 19 Duke Street Richmond starting at 7.30pm and going to around 9.30pm, or you'd like to book them for an event, contact Neil Barker 9846 5280, or

WHERE: In the grassed area, at the Roundabout, cnr Mountain Highway and Forest Road, The Basin.
FREE event for families.
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When: Mid morning
Where: In the grassed area, at the Roundabout, cnr Mountain Highway and Forest Road, The Basin
Your Comment
I didn't realise there were different styles of Morris Dancing. Great article.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12594) 2616 days ago
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