Dance, Then, Wherever
You May Be!
Recently, my mother was present at the Life Day Festival in Batsto
Village. I know this sounds silly, but she told me about these wonderful
dancers she saw there last year. After listening to her description, I informed
her that she had witnessed Morris dancers and gave her strict instructions
should she meet them again. Well, this year they were again present and
my mother marched right up and asked them the name of their 'side.' When
the man smiled, Mom prompted, 'Did I ask the right question?' Yup - she's
my mom. He assured her she did and told her they were the Millstone River
Morris, out of Princeton. He also gave her a piece of propaganda which has
touched my heart - ergo this write-up.
While in England on research, I saw the oldest and most prestigious side
in the country. It was a thrill. My research has touched on the Dancers
at several key places, so I'm always aware of them. They are a part of me
now. I've seen videos of them on Cerne Abbas on Beltane momingbeating
the ground to 'wake her up.' It is traditions like this that keep me going.
So what touched my heart in the xeroxed page of information my mother received?
Why do you Morris dance?
We have to.
Yes, we do.
Art & Text by Pattie Lawler