JACK IN THE GREEN MORRIS MEN
Although many spectators only recognize "the hanky dance" and "the stick dance" there are actually about two dozen dances in our current repertoire. While they are all either hanky or stick dances, most originated in the Cotswold villages of Bledington and Bessels Leigh. We have also composed some of our own dances in these traditions. Below is a list of our dances and some fun details about them.
"Processionals" are the dances that we use when we are entering the dance space and "recessionals" are dances that we use to leave the dance space.
Most of our dances are "set dances" done with six dancers, but there are also "jigs" that are performed by fewer dancers, sometimes as few as one!
Hey Diddle Dis
Bledington Tradition. Tune and dance are traditional.
Part of its own tradition. Used by many morris teams.
Bledington Hanky Dances
Traditional dance. Tune you hear may be "Morning Star" or "Idbury Hill" (both traditional). The team also dances a variant called "Evening Star" that features an extra wide set.
Adapted from Bucknell tradition. Tune is traditional
Sequential dance. Dance and tune are traditional.
Corner crossing dance. Dance and tune are traditional.
William & Nancy
Traditional. Dance and tune are traditional
Another May Day Morning
Dance by our own Kris Arnold. Tune by Jim Blake. We sing, we dance, we go home.
Choreographed for the wedding of Jim Blake and Sarah Jane Miller.
Bledington Stick Dances
AKA "Thud thud whack thud whack thud whack" -- traditional in form, although the stick striking pattern is unique to this team. Tune is traditional.
Flowers of Monadnock
Choreographed by former team Foreman Bill Thomas. Tune: Lilliburlero. We've done for as few as four and as many as 12!
Dance composed by the Binghamton Morris Men in another tradition. Tune is a variant of Go and Enlist.
Because it wasn't dangerous enough for 6 (and we only had 4 dancers that day). Choreographed in 2012 by the team, instigated by Kris "Athos" Arnold.
Three Musketeers - for three
Finally living up to its name - a version of this dance for three brave men.
Dance and tune are traditional.
Old Man of the Mountain
Dance composed by the Green Man Craig Brandon in honor of our former state symbol. Tune: "Trip to Cheltenham"
Re-choreographed several times by the team over the years, much to Gary's dismay. Traditional tune. Now done for 4 or 6
Hard hats required! Over the head stick dance. Tune is theme song for the British TVseries "The Archers." We got the dance from Australia.
It's a damned tough life. Stick tossing dance with sung introduction. Choreographed by the team 2007-2008?.
AKA "Trunkles with Sticks."Choreographed by Bill Potter (2013). Tune of the same name by Carol Compton. A challenge and corner crossing dance with sticks.
Oak and Ash and Thorn
Choreographed by the team in 2009 or 2010 using one short stick and one long. Song is words by Rudyard Kipling set to music by Peter Bellamy
Bessels Leigh Hanky Dances
Traditional tune from the Headington tradition. Known,informally, as the "paper doll" dance.
Corner crossing dance. Choreography and tune by Carol Compton.
Triangles based dance.Choreography and tune by Carol Compton.
All into the center for the chorus. Tune is traditional
Black Nag (2012)
Corner Crossing Dance choreographed (by Carol) to the English Country Dance tune.
Over the Hills and Far Away (2013)
Transmogrified from a dance the Berkley Morris does. Adaptation: Bill Potter
Bessels Leigh Stick Dances
Performed with two short sticks per dancer. Choreographed by the team, The tune is a variant on "Go and enlist for a Sailor." From sometime before 1997.
Drive the Cold Winter Away
Another short stick dance. Choreographed by the team in 2009 or 2010. Tune: song of the same name
Jockey to the Fair
Choreographed in 4 traditions by Shag Graetz in honor of Jack Shimer's 80th birthday. We dance the Bledington version.
Bonny Green Garters
Bampton tradition. Which lyrics will they sing?