This Saturday saw the Leicester Morrismen celebrate their 60th anniversary with a mass dance around the city.
Morris Dancing is a traditional English folk dance which sees its dancers using handkerchiefs, sticks and bells to step in time and create a rhythmic beat. The earliest written mention of Morris dancing was in 1448 and is long seen as a quintessential British custom.
The Leicester Morrismen, formed in 1953, boasts members ranging from their twenties to their eighties, with around 200 dancers from all over the country joining them in their display this weekend. Starting at the clock tower before moving to Cathedral Square, Humberstone Gate and Gallowtree Gate, the dancers delighted all who came across them. The rest of the day saw the Morrismen continuing their anniversary celebrations with performances around Leicestershire pubs.
Charlie Corcoran of the Leicester Morrismen rejoiced in the celebration of the traditional dance by saying “To get 200 Morris dancers together in this day and age is pretty good going – and I’m grateful to the 24 sides who are coming to Leicester from all over the country to help us celebrate our 60th anniversary.”
With just four weeks before Leicester submits its final bid for become the UKs City of Culture 2017, this display is just one of many diverse and rich cultural offerings our city has to offer and will be sure to strengthen the bid. “There’s so much going on in Leicester across all the city’s communities that we really ought to win the title,” said Mr Corcoran.
Delighted with the turnout of both dancers and spectators, Joe Krych of the Leicester Morrismen told Pukaar News “It shows that people want to keep the tradition alive and have fun.”