Medley of Morris delights Sidmouth festival crowd

Morris dancing at its finest at Sidmouth FolkWeek

A MEDLEY of England’s finest Morris performed at the Hub on Sunday,

delighting an enthusiastic crowd.

Festival veterans Hammersmith Morris and Sheffield City Morris kicked off the show, paving the way for Wakefield and Chinewrde teams.

Midlands group Sciorr offered something a little different, with traditional Irish routines later on.


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Adorned with rosettes and bells, Hammersmith Morris (the ‘Smiths’) put on an impressive display, dancing in the traditions of Loughborough, Adderbury, Fieldtown and Bampton.

Famed for their boundless energy and skill, the technique of these quirky characters is certainly tough to match. Bystanders were treated to an extra slice of family fun when dancer Nick Cooke lost a shoe, much to the amusement of his fellow Smiths.

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Like a true professional, Cooke continued with gusto, replacing his footwear during the next pause.

For Sheffield City Morris, stick bashing and handkerchief waving was the order of the day, much to the crowd’s applause.

Though the callers description of ‘athletic precision and grace’ was clearly in jest, the team made Morris look easy (which it isn’t!) and their distinctive technique impressed all.

Dancing their own ‘Medup’ (made up ourselves) tradition, Sheffield’s style reflects the myriad of personalities within the team.

Sheffield City Morris also boasts a unique legacy in the form of Sciorr Irish dancers.

Despite their gravitation to Irish dance, the five performers hail from the Midlands, each one the daughter of a Sheffield Morris Man!

Sciorr’s precise, synchronised moves were quite a contrast to the Morris teams display, and a huge hit with onlookers.

Separately, the girls have performed since they were five or six, forming a group in 2003. Having appeared across the U.K, Poland and in Hungary, they are delighted to return to Sidmouth.

“We’re loving the festival so far,” said Sciorr’s Emily Bates, looking forward to a week of music and dance.

After five hours of solid performance, Sunday’s display concluded to animated cheers of appreciation all round. Folk week family fun simply couldn’t get much better than this.

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