Wakefield Morris Dancers - The First 30 Years
The Repertoire 1980 - 2010
The dances performed by the team in their first 30 years are listed below with a brief note on each. The tunes and implements are as used for the first 3 decades. From 2011 many tunes, tempos and even figures were amended by the dancemaster for reasons not entirely clear to many of the team! After much discussion on the use of drums I gather the issue has been sorted by selling the drum! The idea I suppose was to emulate every other NW side and fit the catch all description "North West - The one with clogs and a drum". As of 2015 the team still aims to be light of foot and accurate of stepping therefore abnegating the need for percussion.
It seems from my possibly jaundiced view that dance figures and even dances that worked well for thirty years are now subject to change if they are considered too difficult to get to grips with or are not of the moment. I was amazed to find when running a workshop for the team in 2015 that the only dancer familiar with "Gisburn" was from my era as dance master. Just why the staple processional dance and foundation of team involvemnet got dropped I'm not sure though the general slowing of tempo under the new broom may have something to do with it. Equally the "chain" figure of Original was dropped I gather because it was "boring", the aside from older eyes suggested that the newer team members just could not get the hang of it. Now in 2015 the Failsworth dance is getting a make over with new figures being inserted to replace some of the traditional/original figures collected by Trefor Owen. Innovation in the form of newly written dances I can understand and applaud but to break down a traditional thread running back 35 years now just seems stupid. But then for thirty years most of the dancers were Wakefield through and through, maybe the high proportion of split loyalties with some of the current dancers is the answer to the drifting rootless repertoire. The phrase "Jack of all trades master of none" springs to mind.
TO indicates a Trefor Owen collected dance.JE a John Earnshaw written dance. TEAM - developed by the team.
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