THE DANCES OF PHOENIX MORRIS

The dances of Phoenix Morris are comprised of dances from traditions collected by Cecil Sharp and adapted to our own style and also our own dances, as well as dances collected from other Sides forming the modern element of our repertoire.

STRETTON

This tradition was collected by Cecil Sharp but not published by him. However, it was discovered by John Cutting in some manuscripts at Cecil Sharp House when he was doing some research.

It is likely that Sharp did not publish the dances as they were fairly similar to another tradition, but John choreographed the six dances notated for Lord Paget's Morris. However, he decided they were unsuitable for them as they were a Cotswold tradition and kindly offered them to us.

The five dances in the tradition are Shepherds Hey (a stick dance), Old Molly Oxford (a hanky dance), Maid of the Mill (a linked hanky dance), The Buffoon (a knee slapping dance) and Black Joke (a hanky dance).

Phoenix perform the first three of these dances in this tradition.

BLEDDINGTON

The Bleddington Tradition is one that the mixed Cotswold Sides in the area tried to standardize in the 1980s so that they can be danced by all Sides at joint events.

In some ways, Morris is evolving too quickly at the present moment and we are trying to achieve, with this tradition, some form of compatibility between the Sides.

The regular dances performed by Phoenix in the Bleddington style are Black Joke and Young Collins which are traditional stick dances and Three Musketeers, which is based on the Bledington Tradition and was collected by us from an American Morris side.

The hankey dance of Saturday Night is also danced at present.

We have also danced the hanky dances of William and Nancy, Cuckoo's Nest and Idbury Hill, all of which have been dropped from our dance list in recent years.

 

ADDERBURY

The Adderbury tradition dances performed by Phoenix include Black Joke and The Bell, which are hanky dances, and Beaux of London City (aka "Shooting"), Bluebells of Scotland, Constant Billy and Lads a Buncham, which are all stick dances.

The Bell was made up by Phoenix in the 70s

BAMPTON

The Bampton Tradition comes from Bampton-in-the-Bush to the South West of Oxford.

The dances we perform in this tradition are Highland Mary (aka Pram Pushing or Chicken Chasing) and Bonny Green Garters (not danced at present) in one Bampton style collected from Grand Union Morris and Over the Hill in another Bampton style collected from Greenwood Morris. This latter dance was performed by Halfcut and was one of the dances which came with them.

FIELDTOWN

At present, we dance a stick dance called Balance The Straw which was written in the style of this tradition by the original Phoenix in 1955. We used to dance Dearest Dicky from this tradition but this was dropped in the 1980s

BATCHWORTH

The "Batchworth" dances are not a tradition as such as the dances to not follow the same pattern but follow on from each other.

Based on traditional Cotswold Morris lines, but with some Border overtones and these are performed regularly being a broom dance for one, one being a three person stick dance, called Speed the Phoenix, another being an eight person stick dance, Batchworth Stick, and a hanky dance for any combination of four dancers, normally danced for eight dancers, called Portsmouth, a four person hankie dance, Phoenix Waves, and a six person stick dance called the Stomp.Both Portsmouth and the Stomp are danced by other Sides throughout the country.UPTON ON SEVERNThe Upton dances are, in fact, Border dances. Cotswold versions were devised many years ago and Phoenix dance both the Stick Dance and the Hankie Dance.

ODDS AND !Finally, our repertoire is added to by individual dances taken from different traditions or collected from other sides and, in the main, these are Lincolnshire Poacher, collected from Ouse William Morris, The North 21 stick dance from Great Northern Eclectics, Lollipop Man adapted from the Ducklington Tradition, Saturday Night adapted from the Bucknall Tradition, Vandals from Longborough, Ring of Bells Lichfield and Highland Mary taken from the Bampton Tradition.

From time to time the selection of dances we perform is added to and other dances are dropped, according to the whim of the side (or more often the whim of the Foreman or Squire!)

Back to Front?