The Thirty Seventh Annual Tour of THE AMERICAN TRAVELLING MORRICE
July 29 – August 4, 2012
Appearing free to all along the Upper Delaware River Valley and throughout Bucks, Mercer and Hunterdon Counties!
Morris Dancing is a living tradition of dance and music, ancient in its origins and passed down by word of mouth. Its roots can be found in England, and most surviving dances are from the Cotswold area west of London, though there are similar dances to be found in many European countries.
The foundations of the Morris are lost in the mists of time. We know that even in the fifteenth century, Morris Dancing was already an established practice. Considered very old in the time of William Shakespeare; the Bard’s biggest star – actor Will Kemp – was also a celebrated Morris man. After nearly becoming extinct, the Morris saw a revival at the end the nineteenth century. Today, the dances flourish in England and elsewhere. Echoes of primitive fertility rites, celebrations of the passage of the seasons, hints of magic and the promise of good fortune are to be found in the dances.
Each team or side has its own costume, or “kit,” which becomes its trademark. Many sides are typically decked out in traditional “whites,” said to represent springtime and the renewal of life after the dormant darkness of winter. Our blue suspenders and tricolored rosettes are emblematic of the American Travelling Morrice, and add a festive flash of color to the dance. The bells ward off evil spirits and gloomy thoughts, and the fierce clashing of sticks may survive as a vestige of the pagan rituals of much earlier times.
Many tunes played these days for the Morris date from the late eighteenth century folk music literature. Specific details of step and arm movement in their present form can be traced to the English villages where the individual dances originate. In addition, many sides in the United States have recently created their own American Morris dances based upon the English styles.
The time-honored custom of passing the hat has always been associated with the Morris. This ongoing tradition allows the audience (and occasional passerby) to share in the dance and express gratitude to the dancers. It has often been said that dropping a coin in the upturned hat of a Morris man brings the donor good luck and prosperity “for a year and a day.”
The American Travelling Morrice is comprised of skilled members of Morris sides both here in the United States and in England. It was founded by members of the Binghamton Morris Men from New York State, and the New Cambridge and Newtowne Morris Men, based in and around Boston. Each summer since 1976, we have spent a week in a different part of the United States or England to bring authentic English Morris dancing to the public. This year we make our base camp in Pennington, New Jersey.
The men of the American Travelling Morrice perform these dances for the fun of it. We hope that you have enjoyed watching us. If you wish to learn more about our ensemble or the Morris in general, please talk to one of us.
We try to be punctual but please allow for unexpected delays.
Sunday, July 29
11:00 Lambertville NJ: Mercer County 4-H Fair
2:30 Lambertville NJ: Wells Fargo Bank
3:30 New Hope PA: East Ferry & Main Streets
4:30 New Hope PA: The Logan Inn
Monday, July 30
2:00 Newtown PA: Pennswood Village
3:30 Langhorne PA: The Woods Schools
Tuesday, July 31
11:00 Riegelsville PA: Riegelsville Inn
12:30 Milford NJ: The Ship Inn
3:00 Frenchtown NJ: Harrison & Bridge Streets
4:30 Lumberville PA: Lumberville General Store
6:00 Stockton NJ: The Stockton Inn
Thursday, August 2
11:00 Trenton NJ: Trenton Farmer’s Market
2:00 Hamilton NJ: Grounds For Sculpture
8:00 Trenton NJ: Douglas Plaza, South Montgomery Street
Friday, August 3
11:00 Lahaska PA: Peddler’s Village (Village Green)
1:00 Doylestown PA: Fonthill Castle/Moravian Tile Works
4:00 Doylestown PA: Mercer Museum
7:30 Doylestown PA: First Friday Doylestown
Saturday, August 4
10:00 Pennington NJ: Honey Brook Organic Farm
12:00 Washington Crossing PA: Washington Crossing Park
3:00 Princeton NJ: Nassau Hall
For more information, please contact:
Jamie Watson, Squire, 37th Annual American Travelling Morrice
Phone (609)575-2100 E-Mail: Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the American Travelling Morrice website at:
This year’s American Traveling Morrice is sponsored in part by River Horse Brewing