Morris Dancing at The Higgins Bedford

Published on 05 July 2022


Event in Bedford Town Centre

The Higgins Bedford is hosting fun-filled events celebrating Morris Dancing on Saturday 9 July and everyone is welcome to join in.

Morris dancing is often viewed as a fixed and unchanging English tradition, and yet the past forty or so years has seen significant changes.

In Bedfordshire, Redbornstoke Morris team drifted away from tradition and developed their own dances including Ampthill which is known for its distinctive stepping sequence. Alternatively, Bedfordshire Lace Morris was the first women’s Morris team in the county, formed by the wives and partners of the men in Redbornstoke Morris who wanted the opportunity to dance.

Led by Lydia Saul, Keeper of Social History, and Chas Leslie, curator of the Innovation and Tradition: 40 years of Morris display at The Higgins Bedford, visitors are invited to hear from former members of Redbornstoke Morris and Bedfordshire Lace Morris in a panel discussion as they share memories of these changes and reflections of their experiences dancing, followed by an audience Q & A. This talk is free to visitors and will run from 11am - 12:30pm.

Later in the day from 2pm - 3:30pm, children can take part in an exciting workshop and become a Morris dancer for the afternoon. Bedfordshire’s Golden Hare Morris team will be on hand to teach young visitors some basic steps and put together a simple Morris dance. Afterwards, the children can show off their Morris moves in a short performance for their families.

This workshop is free and is suitable for children aged 8-12 years old, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

Councillor Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “Morris dancing is an incredibly rich English tradition. Whether you’ve enjoyed watching the dancers at local community events over the years, or you have fond memories of trying it out yourself at school, it’s something most of us are familiar with. This new event at The Higgins Bedford is an opportunity for you to find out more about the history and development of Morris dancing and is sure to be a great day out for all the family.”

Please email thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk or call 01234 718618 to book your place.

The activities are inspired by the Innovation and Tradition: 40 years of Morris display at The Higgins Bedford, which continues until 11 September and is free to visit.

Visit The Higgins Bedford website for more information at www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk

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