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Morris Dance teams visit island to bring good luck

"The MossyBack Morris Men dance at the 1999 Seattle Folklife Festival. Photo courtesy of Nancy Wirsig McClure. The MossyBack Morris Men of Seattle and the Vancouver Morris Men of British Columbia will team up for a tour of Morris Dancing on Whidbey this Saturday, Sept. 30. The dancers will start in Coupeville on Front Street at 10:45 a.m., then perform at noon at the Bayview Farmers Market and 3 p.m. at Langley Park. Morris Dancing is an ancient English dance ceremony of uncertain origin. Costumed dancers wave handkerchiefs and clash sticks in rhythm with live music. The dance is believed to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck to all onlookers. The MossyBack Morris Men, an active team in Seattle since 1980, will dance the Cotswold-style Morris Dance consisting of vigorous stepping and powerful stick clashing, dressed in colorful costumes designed to accent the dancing. The Vancouver Morris Men will perform a similar style from different villages in the Cotswold area of England. The tour has been an annual tradition designed to bring the spectacle of dance and good luck to the Whidbey Island communities. To learn more, visit the Web sites at www.mossyback.com and www.vancouvermorrismen.org "

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