BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 8796

Morris dancing - tradition and symbolism

Morris dancing - tradition and symbolism
Key Info
  • Morris dancing - tradition and symbolism
  • Duration: 04:08
  • Morris dance groups from England describe the traditions that underpin the symbolism embodied in their dancers. The wearing of elaborate hats, colourful coats adorned with ribbons or rags and blackened faces narrate past histories. Sticks and swords crashing on the ground frighten away evil spirits, bells welcome the spring, and the waving of hankies mimics court dancers of the 17th century. Animals like the horse and dragon symbolise old Nick the devil and are kept away from the dancers. Dancers and musicians perform along the streets to the sound of the accordion. Formations and patterns from Wiltshire and Welsh border dances are performed.
  • Subject:

    Physical Education


    Dance Activities: Styles of Dance

  • Keywords: percussion, accordion, traditional, embodiment, symbol, symbolism
Ideas for use in class
  • When illustrating symbolism used in Art, Music and drama. In conjunction with different cross-curricular themes, history of costume, cultural traditions, folklore.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 4x3

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