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, 22 November 2011

The Steam Ale is upon us!

This Saturday will see us enjoying a day trip on Puffing Billy, dancing in the beautiful surrounds of the Dandenongs, from Belgrave to Lakeside and back to the Paradise Hotel in Clematis.
On Sunday afternoon, come find us at the Micawber Tavern in Belgrave.

Special thanks go to the Mountain Goat brewery for their sponsorship this year, offering us a keg of their own Steam Ale to assist with the festivities on Saturday night.

Saturday, 26th November
10am: Puffing Billy station in Belgrave, dancing on platform.
10:30am: Depart Belgrave on Puffing Billy.
11:30am: Arrive Lakeside for a short dance spot.
12:30pm: Depart Lakeside on Puffing Billy. .
12:40pm: Arrive Clematis. Dance around a bit.
Lunch at the Paradise Hotel, followed by more dancing.
4:45pm: Depart Clematis on Puffing Billy. .
5:30pm: Arrive in Belgrave.
Some dancing in Belgrave whilst folks are shuttled back to Mt Morton camp for the Ale proper.

Sunday, 27th November
12:30 til the publican cries 'Out!'
Wedge in at the Micawber Tavern, Belgrave.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

I met a man in Beechworth...

I met a man in Beechworth...
He saw us rant and caper
"I read about a dance like this
in a little Cornish paper."

"In fact I have a copy of it
Purchased by my sister
Write me down your address and
I'll mail it 'you, young Mister."

And sure enough, here it is,
though I look at it askance,
For what on earth would make them call it
The Helston Furry Dance?

Excuse the doggerel, I was inspired after writing the title of the update.
I truly did meet a man in Beechworth, named Ken, who was kind enough to tell us we looked like we were having a great time and he'd enjoyed watching us dance.

"You folk really enjoy what you do. It shows.
Best wishes, to you and the group.
Ken T"

He mentioned that his sister had been to Cornwall and purchased a pamphlet in a little Cornish town called Helston and it described the traditions of the Helston Furry Dance, traditionally performed on May 8th to celebrate the triumph of St Michael over the Devil in a battle for the town. It's a grand processional through the town, with a song to be sung by the choir at various points about town.
"In his Tour through the whole island of Great Britain (1724-1726) Daniel Defoe observes of the Helston custom that "The Festival is called the Furry and the dance the Faddy."
"Furry possibly relates to the Latin 'feria' - a holy day or feast day."

Thankyou Ken, I'll be posting a letter to you tomorrow to thank you for your thoughtful gift.

For anyone who'd like to see the pamphlet, I'll bring it along to practice on Monday.

The Helston Furry Dance
with Map and Illustrations

by Edward M. Cunnack
Published by the Flora Day Association and Stewards of the Helston Furry Dance.

P.S. Brewer, Helston

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Ten years!

Ten years behind the bell.

This saturday marks ten years since Brandragon first had a practice, in the back room of the Brandon Hotel in Carlton. We're celebrating by going for dinner at Mrs Parma's on Monday night (the 23rd, from 6:00pm at 25 Lt Bourke St, Melbourne). Crumbs! I'm gettin' all nostalgic...
Thankyou to Dave, Nigel and the Britannia Morris Men, the Adelaide Lancashire Witches, Angie of Jolly Hatters, the Adelaide Morris Men, and all the mad fools who've ever come to practice on a Monday night.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Step Clogging - TEDxBrighton -- Sarah Angliss -- Loving the Machine

TEDxBrighton -- Sarah Angliss -- Loving the Machine
"This dance was devised by women who were working in the mills and they were copying the machines around them... their rhythmic qualities and the fact that they were so bloody loud!
So here are the women in the mill, in these sorts of conditions, very cramped, unable to stop for a moment and lose pace with the machine, of they'd lose their job, or worse, and they couldn't even hear themselves speak. The only thing they could do was tap their feet and very cleverly they tapped their feet to mimic the machines around them."
Sarah Angliss (10min 15sec)

Monday, 2 May 2011

May Day & Kellybrook Cider Festival

Brandragon had its traditional May Day foot-up at All Nations Park in Northcote. The beautiful crisp morning was punctuated by the wheeze of melodeons, the tootle of recorders, the beating of drums, the jingle of bells and the stomp of feet as the dragons tried to get some warmth back into their bodies as well as the world. Once the sun had risen and their Morris duty was done, the dragons settled in for their traditional opulent breakfast. It was a great effort to sample all that was on offer, but well worth it since everything was delicious.

After scattering to attend to some morning obligations (like finding more coffee), the dragons reconvened at Kellybrook winery to dance with the Britannia Morris Men at the Kellybrook Cider Festival.

The weather was mild and perfect, the audience appreciative, and the scrumpy and apple juice flowed freely, guaranteeing an excellent time for all. Our thanks go to BMM for making us welcome to this lovely event.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

May Day and Kellybrook Cider festival

We'll be dancing up the sun this Sunday, May 1st at 6:30am, on the hillock in All Nation's Park, Northcote.
Come join us and bring something to share for breakfast as we ensure the return of the sun in the northern hemisphere for another year. I suppose the momentum it gains is important for us as well...

And if you're so inclined, come see us dance alongside the Britannia Morris Men at Kellybrook Winery's Cider Festival from 11am. It's a great little festival with fresh apple juice and traditional farmhouse 'scrumpy' cider available on the day.

National Folk Festival 2011

Thanks to all who made the National Folk Festival a huge success this year. Once again a fantastic time was had by all; dancing, singing and folking with sides from all around Australia.
We danced a great set on the Piazza and met our first true Morris fan-girl at the workshop while teaching Ducks in the Privy. Tara was so keen that she jumped up to dance ''Maid of the Mill' with Britannia and Adelaide Morris men and she even collected our signatures on her program when we met her at a Contra dance later in the festival!

The Massed Morris looked fantastic this year with up to six sides at once getting up to dance their own traditions or variations of a well known dance. It's a great sight to behold 40 dancers waving sets of sticks or hankies, in time with a massed orchestra of musos. As Graeme noted, it gives a real impression of the scale of Morris at the festival. Morris is not just a small group of dancers wandering around performing at different spots, it's a large group of dancers who have a great contribution to make to the festival.

With St George's day in the middle of the festival this year it was great to get the Dragon out again, with the Ragged Band Border side bringing along a member dressed as St George for a parade about the festival site. We danced a Churchtown processional with Albion Fair (Sydney) and South-East Northwest (Brisbane/Toowoomba) accompanied by the Ragged Band (Brisbane) and other street performers from the festival in a parade of costumes and music.The highlight of which would have to be the photogenic, costumed small children helping to carry the Dragon's tail.

Thankyou to our musos, especially those who juggled multiple commitments to play for us and congratulations to everyone for the great feedback we got this year;
I've seen a lot of English Northwest sides and you guys are really good... I love seeing you put so much energy and enthusiasm into your dancing... You manage to be inclusive and maintain a great standard.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Kin Playspace, Marysville

Marysville - 9th April
Gallipoli Park in Marysville was re-opened with a reflective garden and amazing new kid's playground. The committee of the kindergarten requested Brandragon come along to dance in the space and liven up a potentially dull official day. We had a ball dancing about the paths of the playground, with a trail of children bobbing along behind us. The kids then went on to plant a garden of reeds in the creek bed alongside the park, claiming the space as their own

Did I mention how amazing the playground is? It has a 'fort' with a hand-pump feeding an Archimedes screw which can be turned to raise water to a trough which feeds a mill wheel. This is kid's play equipment! I love it.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Lavandula Harvest Festival 2011

Brandragon's first dance out for the year provided to be a surprising success - due to the absence of a few stalwarts, we put the call out and we were joined by some of our friends from Red Raven. The weather was nice and balmy for the first time in years, enabling us to get a lot of dancing in, and teaching some of th...e adult visitors to Lavandula a dance for a change! Henry of Harcourt were very sadly missed, but as always we stopped in at Keating's in Woodend to avail ourselves of the offerings from Holgate Brewery. A big thanks to everyone who came out for the day!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Upcoming Performances

Sunday 9th January 2011
Lavandula Harvest Festival
Come and see Brandragon at their annual performance at Lavandula.