|The Cardiff Morris are one of the earliest
1970's revival sides. Formed in early 1970 by a small enthusiastic group
made up of experienced dancers who had migrated from Morris sides in other
parts of the country and local recruits with a feeling for folk dance and
song, we have been dancing the Morris in South Wales for over forty
Our dances are generally derived from the Cotswold traditions, although you may see us perform our own tradition of dance from the village of Nantgarw, just north of Cardiff. This tradition is distinguished by the fact that it is an eight-person dance rather than the Cotswold style with six dancers. The local connection is reinforced by the Welsh dragon and Cardiff Coat of Arms on our Welsh-weave "baldricks", or cross-sashes, and we are often accompanied by Idris, our own dancing dragon.
In summer we can be seen in Cardiff and around South Wales at festivals and fetes, or touring various localities in the County of Glamorgan on Tuesday evenings. We also make a number of weekend visits to Morris sides in various corners of Britain and have a large hand in organising the biennial "All Wales" Morris weekend in mid-Wales.
We have been laying siege to the licensed premises of South Wales since the beginning of the last folk revival in the early seventies and are still defying the bookies' odds on the death of Welsh morris (all right, only just). Morris dancing in the Principality has always struggled against its public image as a purely English artform and despite the fact that something similar appears in most European cultures, there is still a conformist majority that maintains that Welsh folk doesn't exist outside the confines of the Eisteddfodau or Aelwydydd.
Cardiff themselves spent the first four years of their existence dancing purely Cotswold morris before taking the decisive step of resurrecting the Glamorgan morris tradition by reviving Y Gaseg Eira from Nantgarw in 1974. Cotswold and Welsh dancing continued in parallel throughout the 80s, but at the beginning of the 90s further changes were made to the character of the repertoire which distanced the side from the Cotswold mainstream and created a distinctive style of its own.
Currently, Cardiff dance principally the Nantgarw, Bucknell and Eynsham traditions with a leavening of Chingford Upton-on-Severn (from the English border) and Adderbury "nouveau". We are quite perfectly happy to discuss what happens to allegedly English dances when they fetch up on our shores, but you'll never have enough beer to bribe us to teach you Nantgarw... :-)
2004 saw the side throw open it's doors to anybody wishing/willing to dance the Cardiff Morris. Should you have felt the urge, please get in touch!
|Even other sides are fascinated...|
|© Cardiff Morris 2000|