Wednesday, January 7, 2009

UK morris dancers urge young to strap on the bells

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain's morris dancers, renowned for bells on knees, colored rags and flower-bedecked hats, are launching a recruitment drive to convince young people that their stick-slapping art form is not a thing of the past.

The folk revival of the 1960s and 1970s, spearheaded by artists like Bob Dylan, led to a surge in interest in morris dancing in Britain.

But dancers who started out then are now in their 60s and often unable or unwilling to try and keep up with the accordion music.

Many troupes, known as "sides," are aging fast, and will soon disappear, predicted Brian Tasker, the leader or "squire" of the Morris Ring which represents dozens of morris dancing groups across the country.

"I'm now 62 and I started in 1971," Tasker told Reuters.

No comments: