About the Dragons

Morris is a traditional English folk dancing style and Brandragon is Melbourne's only north west Morris side. We travel and perform throughout Melbourne and Victoria all year round at fairs, festivals, markets, fetes and weddings. We are a fun, diverse and friendly group, all ages, genders and levels of ability are welcome. Come along to dance, play some music and have a beer (or cider) with us.

Upcoming Gigs

Brandragon can be seen at these upcoming events.

Sun 08/Jan/2017 - Lavandula Harvest Festival

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Practice

We practice every Monday night at the Clifton Hill Hotel, 89 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill. You can catch the number 86 tram and get off at stop 23 which is right outside the pub, or a Hurstbridge or an Epping train will get you to Clifton Hill station which is a 10 minute walk away. If you're driving there's normally plenty of parking.
Practice starts at 8pm, out in the Emerald Room (it's the back room, or ask at the bar).

Last practice at the Clifton Hill hotel for this year will be December 7th, with the Christmas picnic in the Edinburgh Gardens on December 13th.

Beechworth Celtic Festival



This weekend was our first Beechworth Celtic Festival and I very much hope it's the first in a long succession because we had a fantastic time performing for receptive audiences and watching some excellent dancers and musicians.

We worked hard for our money and ran a workshop, danced our usual processional number in the parade, did 2 x 40 min. stage sets, including a solo step clog demo, and busked on both days - lots of thanks to the handful of Ravens who added colour and numbers and stick and hanky Cotswold style. There's something about a chook with a morris dancer stuck up its bum that really appeals to a crowd.

The performance sets included brief workshops to encourage the audience out of their seats and we had a lot of fun teaching elements of Speed the Plough and Churchtown to some very cute little tykes and keen adults.

The availability of Bridge Rd Brewer's stock was a definite highlight of my festival. The Chestnut Pilsener was a welcome drop after dancing and the Beechworth Pale Ale went down smoothly later in the evening.

The leaf-shaped badges and earrings of a local jeweller were so popular with the rest of the side that we're now a walking advertisement for them.

We're looking forward to future festivals, with some possible joint performances with Violindigo students and hopefully one or two of the fantastic pipe bands we saw at the festival. Who could pass up the opportunity to perform processionals in the parade to a full pipe band?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Euroa Wool Week Festival and Parade

A handful of us escaped Melbourne on Friday night to enjoy a balmy evening in the beer garden of the Seven's Creek Hotel, conveniently close to the caravan park we booked into overnight, with a further contingent arriving before the Wool Week Parade on Saturday morning.

The weather was kind and we had a fine morning for the parade, led by a contingent of Imperial Storm Troopers escorting Darth Vader, closely followed by the town band costumed as Princess Leia; every member with a different interpretation of 'buns' over their ears, and most of the children in town in Star Wars costume. Darth Vader even joined our set as we neared the end of the parade, processing and wheeling with us through a couple of choruses, light saber in hand.

The local kids danced about a May Pole in the centre of the street, weaving and plaiting their ribbons before we stepped up for our third set of the morning, finishing a great little festival we look forward to each year.

Thanks as always to the Benalla Caledonian Highland Pipe Band for playing 100 Pipers for us to dance to. It's a great thrill to have pipes and drums play for us and the effect is visible in our posture and spring as we dance.

Monday, 16 August 2010

The 2010 Tramdragon Ale

Brought to you by Brandragon Northwest Clog Morris and
the number 19 tram.

Hi folks,
It's confirmed!
We're going ahead with an Ale on October 16th, along Sydney Rd.

Saturday, October 16th

10am Coburg Mall
Victoria St, Coburg
Coffee, cakes, produce and fashion...

12:30pm Edinburgh Castle, Brunswick
lunch and further foot-up at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel,
Omnivorous, Vegetarian, Pescatarian and Vegan Vittlers.
cnr Albion and Sydney Rds, Brunswick

tbc 3:30pm afternoon tea

6:30pm Christ Church, Brunswick,
Bardin Centre (Glenlyon Rd, near the cnr of Sydney Rd.)
Catered by the Brandragon Catering Corps.
Wedge in for dinner and dancing in a timber floored hall and fully serviced kitchen

11:30pm Any venue that'll have us


Sunday, October 17th
10am Collingwood College Spring Fair
Our traditional spring foot-up, now with added daylight
Cnr Cromwell St and McCutcheon Way,


2:30pm A quiet drink to cool down / send off the guests

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

An educational evening for all

Notes for teaching Morris at a 21st birthday;

1. Arrange yourselves in groups of 4.
Thats 4, not 7... Oh she's your girlfriend and he's got your beer? Well, umm, why don't you 3 come over here and join this guy.

2. Stars.
Form a circle in your group of 4 and put your right hand into the centre so that you are holding onto each other. That's the other right hand, everyone. Err ... put your beer/champers in your left hand and put your right hand in ...umm, OK that might work but you'll have to skip backwards. You can't skip?? Is that because you're pissed or you just don't know how to?? Oh, I see.. 4" heels would make that awkward..

Now, while you're holding hands in a circle, skip forward .. clockwise .. altogether for 4 steps .. umm, OK stop now.

Now turn and put the left hand in so we can turn anticlockwise. Ready? Ski.... STOP!!! Maybe we can just skip round twice by the right then, OK???

3. Clapping
You'll all need to put your drinks down. .. Umm .. OK try not to spill too much on the floor. Now, clap right hands with the person opposite .. umm, no, not your girlfriend, the other opposite. Can you skip while you do that? No?? OK just stand still and do high fives then, I guess that will be OK. Now turn to face the .. No, on the other hand, just keep clapping with .. err!

Jenni, we should stop now before someone has a nasty accident!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Oh, how I'd like to be in London this September!

The clearest description I've yet seen of Morris. This clip contains examples of the various styles, including the rarely discussed 'Fluffy Morris' and indicates where they originate from.

A CLOCKWORK MORRIS
www.youtube.com
5,000 Morris Dancers is an anarchic weekend event at The Southbank Centre, London from 3rd-5th Sept 2010. At its heart is a large-scale installation of morris-inspired folk-pop art by David Owen enhanced by film, dance, music and mayhem.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Brandragon on the television

Brandragon appeared in Costa's Garden Odyssey. They were doing a feature on lavender including Lavandula which is a lavender farm in Victoria. Brandragon annually dance out at the Lavandula harvest festival and have a great time.

While it is still up you can go to :

http://player.sbs.com.au/programs#/programs_08/fullepisodes/latestepisodes/playlist/Costa-s-Garden-Odyssey-Ep-22/

We appear about 17min 49 sec in and are only there for a few seconds.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

English Ale - Mylor SA

Home again and back to earth after a great English Ale in the Adelaide Hills. Thanks all round to Hedgemonkey Morris and Hot For Joe for their hospitality, to Bron for her brilliant organisation of the weekend and to everyone who came along;
It looked to be a promising weekend when Friday evening's venue, the Wheatsheaf hotel, had Mountain Goat Surefoot on tap.
Saturday morning was spent enjoying the idyllic Bridgewater pub garden. Lots of dancing was had, including mixed sets with South East North West and former Adelaide Lancashire Witches, a double set of Bunch of Fives with Longford and then a triple set of Greywell Tunnel for all who were able.
A short trip around the hills to Mylor and the dancing continued with Dani's Bakewell Tart having its first outing here in a tent raised specially for us, outside the main event hall.
Our performance of Ducks in the Privy went down brilliantly. Clogs on a timber floor always seem to bring our knees up higher and sharper.
Sunday afternoon continued in the same fashion til most of us leapt aboard a bus for the airport, grinning from ear to ear at the avenue of hankies we received from Hedgemonkey as we boarded the bus.
Thanks to all who made it a great weekend, especially Christian for joining us in Saturday night's processional on melodeon.

Monday, 12 April 2010

National Folk Festival Video

Thanks to Henry Falkner for the excellent footage.



The first dance is 'Gisburn processional' (named after the town of Gisburn in Lancashire); the second is called 'Ducks in the Privy' (I don't know the origin), and the final one is called 'Emily's Hop' (written originally on a sleepless night many years ago and named after one of our dancer's daughter who was the cause of the sleepless night).

Thursday, 25 March 2010

National Folk Festival 2010

It's almost Easter again and therefore time for the National Folk Festival!
Come join us at the best dancer's folk festival in Australia. This year we'll be busking about the site at Exhibition Park in Canberra or look for us in the program. Alternatively, keep an eye out for us in the session bar...
Hope to see you there.