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morris dance


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English ceremonial folk dance which first appeared in England in the 15th century. Its origins are unknown, although it may have derived from the moresca, a dance found in Burgundy in the early 1400s. Traditionally performed by men wearing bells tied to their legs, it is composed of intricate steps and is usually danced in 2/4 time, although it can also be danced in 3/4 time. The dancers may be made up to represent particular characters, such as Fool or Maid Marian, and a cardboard horse is also a regular feature. Some of the elements of morris dancing were used by Ashton in La Fille mal gardée.

Subjects: Performing artsDance


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