About the Dragons
Thursday, 6 November 2008
To be more precise it's a range of folk dancing styles which differ as you travel from one town to the next, let alone one shire to the next!
Brandragon dance the Northwest style, from the areas around Lancaster, down to Chester and across into the West Riding of Yorkshire.
It is linked to the holidays of the industrial towns of the region, hence the wooden soled clogs that we wear, typical work-a-day footwear for the day.
Of course at the time they probably wore their Sunday best, leather soled shoes, but the clogs are a curiosity and make such a great noise that they've been revived.
Other Morris dancing styles include Border, Cotswold, Molly and Rapper.
Cotswold is the most common type, danced with a pad of bells on each shin, and then using hankies or long sticks (roughly 3' or 90cm long)
Border is from the Welsh border regions and is typically danced in a rag coat, using a string of bells on the ankles and with a blacked face for disguise.
Molly is from the east of England, often danced with a blacked face. It's loud and stompy and shares many facets with Northwest and Border.
Rapper uses timber or steel 'swords' which the dancers then weave in and about, making patterns whilst holding onto the swords end to end in a circle. Rapper comes from the north-east of England.
Brandragon are available for performance or workshop by arrangement, with a store of dances that can be taught to the enthusiastic of all ages. Our repertoire consists of set dances for anywhere between three and twelve performers. We are happy to dance on grass, stone or timber, as long as the surface is level and free of pitfalls.
Live music is provided by our own musicians on whistle, melodeon and drum, with the added advantage that we require no amplification.
We are also more than happy to run a workshop for you, teaching you the basic steps and figures to one of our dances, giving you the opportunity to learn a simple, energetic dance form. We regularly teach dances at our performances both to children and adults, and have run workshops at major events, including the National Folk Festival and Woodford Folk Festival.
We can be booked for a single performance slot, or for full or half days. We are generally happy to stay overnight if festivals run for multiple days.
For further information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org