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American Travelling Morrice Dancers at the Camden Public Library

Posted August 08, 2019

The American Travelling Morrice Dancers will be performing in the Camden Public Library’s Amphitheatre on Sunday afternoon, August 11, at 1:00 pm. The group is comprised of dancers and musicians from across North America and abroad. While many of them perform regularly with teams in their hometowns, they come together for one week each year to form the Travelling Morrice. Since 1976, the group has toured throughout the Northeastern United States and England.

Morris dancing is an English country tradition, with roots in medieval street theatre. For hundreds of years, teams of white-clad dancers have capered and stepped through the intricate patterns of the dance, clashing wooden sticks and waving handkerchiefs in time to lively traditional tunes. A morris “stand” is a colorful spectacle where dancers, with small bells strapped to their legs, leap through complex figures accompanied by the music of the accordion, fiddle, or the ancient pipe and tabor. Directing the proceedings with comical grace is the all-licensed “Fool,” whose antics amuse the onlookers and harass the dancers. Moreover, it was thought in ancient times that morris dancing brought good luck and prosperity to the community.

The American Travelling Morrice continues this tradition for a week each summer, bringing the morris dance to a new geographical region. For more information, visit www.librarycamden.org.