Morris Dancers return to Whidbey Island for tour
September 16, 2011 · Updated 8:29 AM
The Morris Dancers return to the islandThe MossyBack Morris Men of Seattle will team up with the Vancouver Morris Men of British Columbia for their 24th annual tour of Whidbey Island. The group will be joined by the Rising Phoenix Morris Men of Los Angeles, Calif. for the tour.
Performances will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on Front Street in Coupeville; noon at Greenbank Farm; 3:15 p.m. at Boy and Dog Park in Langley; and at 4:30 p.m. at Useless Bay Coffee in Langley.
The men will also perform at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 at the South Whidbey Tilth Market at Thompson Road and Highway 525 in Bayview.
Morris Dancing is an ancient English dance ceremony of uncertain origin. Dancers adorned with colorful costumes wave handkerchiefs and clash sticks in rhythm with live music played for this tour on the melodeon and fiddle. The dance is believed to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck to all onlookers.The men will perform dances from the South Midlands area of England, specifically from the counties of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.
The MossyBack Morris Men, formed in 1980, wear white shirts and pants with red suspenders, hats and shoes. The Vancouver Morris Men, formed in 1991, wear white shirts and pants, black hats and shoes, and yellow and green baldricks. Rising Phoenix Morris wear white shirts, maroon vests and black pants.
This annual tradition tour has been taking place for more than 20 years and is designed to bring the spectacle of dance and good luck to the communities of Whidbey Island.