Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The times they are a-changing

We have a fall break for the next three weeks, and since the cheapest way to get from one city to another is to fly through London, I'm stopping there on the way back for something of a folk dance and music pilgrimmage. The Cecil Sharp House is the hub of the anglophonic folk world, so I hoped to catch a dance there like Mom did when she went, maybe visit some folk clubs. As for who to see, I thought, who do I know in London? Morris dancers, of course. I don't actually know any, but I sent off an email to the local teams asking if they were performing during the first week of November. I was a bit nervous about this, since in England Morris is done much more traditionally than in the US - meaning that there are those who would rather not see women doing dances traditionally done by men. I understand their point of view, and I admit that I hate seeing women do the Abbots Bromley horn dance, but I think it's a bit extreme. In the 1970s when my mother visited London she wasn't even allowed to watch a men's team practice, let alone dance in with them.

This morning I got an email inviting me to a dance in at a practice of an (all-male) Morris side in the Cecil Sharp House. I feel like Virginia Woolf being allowed to walk on the grass.


Andrew said...

They had the national folk festival in Richmond a few days ago. I'm told it was awesome. Apparently, the big hit was Ralph Stanley performing Man of Constant Sorrow. I get the feeling English folk is more your cup of tea though.

Your folk pilgrimage sounds like a great idea. My advice: "Keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again."

Enjoy your holiday.

Julia said...

Yeah, they'll be having it in Richmond for the next two years, so hopefully I can catch it next year.