morris dance

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morris dance


morrice dance,

rustic dance of the north of England that had its origin in country festivals, such as those of May Day and Whitsunday. Reference to it in English literature is made as early as the 15th cent. The main dancers were called Robin Hood, Maid Marian, the hobbyhorse, and the bavian, or fool. They were accompanied by a piper or taborer. An ambulatory dance, it was often performed from one village to another by the main dancers and six other dancers, three in a row. The morris dance was a sword dance in many vicinities.


See J. Forrest, The History of Morris Dancing, 1458–1750 (1999).

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morris dance

any of various old English folk dances usually performed by men (morris men) to the accompaniment of violin, concertina, etc. The dancers are adorned with bells and often represent characters from folk tales
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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