Morris dancing or 'The Morris' is the name given to several forms English ritual dance of ancient origin. These were usually part of the celebration of a particular season or event by the community. Some special celebrations still occur, but many traditions have been lost over the years. Although the Morris is mostly performed for enjoyment nowadays, it remains a living part of our cultural heritage.
The form of dance most commonly seen in the southern part of England originates from the Cotswolds and this is the main part of the repertoire of the Colchester Morris Men. You may from time to time see North West Morris danced in this area by men and women, the dancers wear clogs and the form of dance differs from Cotswold quite considerably. Border Morris is also danced by some of the local sides, you will notice that the dancers black up their faces for this and the dancing tends to be rougher and more boisterous, so too is the East Anglian tradition of Molly dancing which is only seen during the winter months.
Some of these different dancing traditions can be seen in the images below.
For more information go to The Morris Ring www.themorris.org