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"It's street theatre really!" A history of Cotswold Morris Dancing in the twentieth century.

Garland, Michael (2018) "It's street theatre really!" A history of Cotswold Morris Dancing in the twentieth century. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This study investigates the history of Morris Dancing in the twentieth century through written sources detailing the development of the dance, but more importantly, through the oral testimony of some of those dancers who began their dancing careers after the second world war. Three particular questions were identified, firstly concerning the way in which ancient dance forms are generally linked, perhaps incorrectly, with place; secondly, the way in which the part that women played in the development of the dance has been written out of the popular modern view of the Morris; and finally, the part that Morris Dancing has played in the production of an invented myth of English history and English tradition. These, and further questions raised during the interviews, forced the study to take a wider view of the history of the dance. Looking back towards the earliest records became important because of the apparent changes that have affected Morris Dancing throughout the centuries, a dance form that is assumed to have been firmly established as an unchanging ritual, but in fact, it would seem, has always been prepared to follow whatever alterations have been demanded by society. Looking forward also became important, because as the dance has clearly changed dramatically during its history, interviewees were keen to explore the ways in which the dance could continue to develop. To follow this final area interviews were conducted with a few of those young dancers who are taking the dance forward. Sections have also been included which will try to explain some of the mysteries of the Morris for those readers who come to the dance as observers rather than performers. Through these sections further areas of study have been identified that cannot be followed in this present work but should be noted for further investigation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Michael Garland
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2018 14:59
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2018 14:59
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21805

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