Original Dances

Our own dances

Rumworth's aim has always been to keep as far as possible to traditional practice and our own dances are either based on existing fragmentary notation or on the characteristics of known traditional dances. A useful reference source which in many ways influenced the pattern and form of our own dances is The North-West Morris: A General Survey by Daniel Howison and Bernard Bentley published in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society Vol. 9, No. 1 (Dec., 1960), pp. 42-55

Dances are listed in the order they were first performed


  1. The Polka

The first dance in the new team's repertoire based on a notation of the Morris Dance performed at the Milnrow Rushbearing in 1903 and called simply "The Polka". It was first performed in 1978 at Rivington Lower Barn. The dance is now referred to as The Original Polka to avoid confusion with Number 2 Polka
 

This video is of a performance on the arena stage at Sidmouth  in 1990

 


  1. The Garland

The Garland Dance which features the "Rumworth Caper" was originally conceived as a stick dance with a format loosely based on the Mawdesley dance. It soon became apparent that if you were going to hold up 2 sticks (like candlesticks) they might as well be joined up at the top to form a garland. The original garlands were broken wooden PE hoops acquired from a school. It was first performed in 1978 at Rivington Lower Barn. It is now referred to as The Original Garland to avoid confusion with Number 2 Garland
 

This video is of a performance on the arena stage at Sidmouth  in 1990

 


 

  1. Deane Memorial

The Deane Memorial Morris Dance is named after our original practice hall. It is commonly referred to as "The Stick Dance". It was first performed in 1983. The figures are variations of standard traditional NW figures danced for 4 then repeated for 8 (or, when numbers allow, for 12)

This video is of a performance on the arena stage at Sidmouth  in 1990

 


  1. Number 2 Polka

Like Deane Memorial this is a completely original dance based on the standard NW patterns and very basic standard NW figures. The dance uses a unique stepping sequence throughout.

This video is of a performance on the arena stage at Sidmouth  in 1990

 


  1. Number 2 Garland

The figures are unique to this dance and are not variants of existing figures in other dances. They do however follow the standard NW pattern of being danced for 4 then repeated for 8. The "Wigan Weave" however is freely adapted from a description of a movement in Dan Howison’s 1959 notation of the Wigan St John’s Dance and the dance finishes with the same quadrille "Cross Morris" movement found in the Original Garland, although with fewer passes in the chain.

YouTube video taken on Victoria Square at Day of Dance 2011


  1. Number 3

Danced with garlands, it is in 4 distinct parts each of which uses a specific tune from the nominally NW region of a country in mainland Europe. The first part, danced to the Langewapper Sword dance tune from Antwerp,  was originally worked out using the notation of the dance from Whalley which has a slow hop-step turn and cross over. It also has a corners turn figure. The slow hop step also features in dances from Preston and Wigan. The second part, which features the Rumworth Caper, is danced to a tune from Ponte Caffaro and is called "The Italian Job" for fairly obvious reasons. The third part reverts to the usual column formation and Up in Fours and is danced to a tune from Galicia and the final part is the Cross Morris figure from the Original Garland but it is danced to a carnival tune from Dunkirk.

This was filmed at Holmfirth Folk Festival in 2015


  1. Platt Bridge Polka

Currently (2016) awaiting its first public performance, it includes the traditional NW Step Up and Step and Turn chorus pattern and the figures are standard NW figures taken mostly from Wigan St Johns but danced with slings, not sticks. The dance also contains elements with influences from Whalley, Colne and Mossley.