Definitions for morris danceˈmɔr ɪs, ˈmɒr-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word morris dance
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
mor′ris dance′ˈmɔr ɪs, ˈmɒr-(n.)
a rural folk dance of N English origin, performed by dancers orig. dressed as characters of the Robin Hood legend, esp. in May Day festivities. Also called mor′ris.
Category: Music and Dance
Origin of morris dance:
1425–75; late ME moreys daunce Moorish dance; see Moorish
morris dance, morris dancing(noun)
any of various English folk dances performed by dancers in costume
A traditional English folk dance performed by a team of costumed dancers, often men but also men and women together or women only, who often wield sticks or handkerchiefs.
To perform in such a dance
Origin: Thought to be from Moorish + dance. The German Moriskentanz is cognate.
Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers, usually wearing bell pads on their shins. Implements such as sticks, swords and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers. In a small number of dances for one or two men, steps are performed near and across a pair of clay tobacco pipes laid across each other on the floor. English records date back to 1448, when 7 shillings were paid to morris dancers by the Goldsmiths' Company in London. Further mentions of morris dancing occur in the late 15th century, and there are also early records such as visiting bishops' "Visitation Articles" mention sword dancing, guising and other dancing activities, as well as mumming plays. Furthermore, the earliest records invariably mention "Morys" in a court setting, and a little later in the Lord Mayors' Processions in London. The court records mention both men and women as dancing. It is only later that it begins to be mentioned as something performed in the parishes. There is certainly no evidence that it is a pre-Christian ritual, as is often claimed. In modern day, it is commonly thought of as a mainly English activity, although there are around 150 morris sides in the United States. British expatriates form a larger part of the morris tradition in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong. There are isolated groups in other countries, for example those in Utrecht and Helmond, Netherlands; the Arctic Morris Group of Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden; as well as in Cyprus; and Alsace, France.
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