Thank you for wanting to find out more about Rattlejag Morris. We hope we will be able to satisfy your curiosity. If you have any further questions then please contact us and we will endeavour to answer them.
Rattlejag Morris is a mixed dance side formed in January 2002 with the aim of reviving and developing a dance tradition based in our own local area. Using material collected by Paul Davenport from South Yorkshire as a starting point and also our own material from local research into dancing in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire we have set out to revive and then develop our own locally based dance tradition.
Our local research shows that Morris dancing survived in parts of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire till late in the C19th, lasting longest in association with the winter Plough Monday celebrations (please have a look in our archive section if you are interested in the research done).
The dancing we do is very different from that usually associated with most ‘morris dancing’. One feature is that we use a variety of rattles and shakers to give each dance its own distinctive sound. Other dances feature bellsticks to which long ribbons are attached. Our repertoire also now includes broom dances based on material from Lincolnshire and three dances developed by Retford’s Broadstone Morris. We now have fourteen dances and are in the process of developing three more for next season.
It is hoped that as the side develops we will develop a style of dancing firmly based in our local area.
‘…the most remarkable modern occasion on which the Morris dance was seen to the best advantage ..was witnessed in Doncaster in 1822. The performers numbered about twenty, male and female. They came from Nottinghamshire’
‘…the lads of South Wheatley used to go all round the neighbourhood dancing, cowhides, horns and all – scaring folks to death..’
‘..the Morris dancers gave up over 60 years ago’
Mrs Clark of Ranby 1960