SHEFFIELD CITY MORRIS

Some Historical Background.

 

Sheffield City Morris was formed in 1975 to "enjoy, promote and maintain a high standard" of ritual dance. Its formation was a reaction against the 'fossilising' of the Morris Dance which resulted from the academic rescue of English traditional dance and song in the early 20th century. By the latter half of the last century this style of dance had become proscribed and constricted, the ethos being one of maintaining a uniform interpretation of performance amongst all its practitioners. It was the aim of Sheffield City Morris to revitalise the Morris Dance by restoring the characteristics of a 'living' tradition.

 

In 1987 a paper was presented to a conference at Sheffield University organised by the Department of Lore & Language, entitled The Origins of Sheffield City Morris Men: Medup, We Did it Our Way. The full text of this paper (click here to view) offers a detailed insight into the formation of Sheffield City Morris and the development of our own tradition - Medup.

 

Whether, 25 years on, the team can live up to, or have ever fulfilled, its founder’s ideal of a “fit, young, sexy” team which worked hard at what it was doing, and would “create something new”, is open to analysis and debate. However, some measure of the success of this vision is provided by the invitations to perform at festivals at home - including Sidmouth; to some the ultimate accolade - and abroad, as far afield as Ecuador in South America. It is also substantiated by the continuing requests to participate in weekends organised by some of the most notable morris teams in the country, evidence for which is provided by dance programmes for this and previous years.


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