The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

For Folk's Sake - Morris Dancing and Me

For Folk's Sake - Morris Dancing and Me

Dear Morris Community

A huge thank you to everyone for watching and engaging with the film.

The programme has received fantastic reviews and, overall, seems to have gone down well both with general audiences and the Morris community.

If you, or anyone you know, hasn’t watched the programme yet or wishes to watch it again (especially if you’ve only watched the signed version) I do urge you to catch up on BBC iPlayer in the next few days as that will count towards the viewing figures. This is important as the more people who watch it, the more likely the BBC, and other broadcasters, are to commission future programmes in this vein. For those living outside the UK, we are looking into some options so you can view it too and should have news about that soon.

I’ve enjoyed reading the varied responses and providing some further insights into the filmmaking process as we are very aware that we’ve had to leave out a lot of detail due to the limitations of making a one hour documentary. We really care that the Morris community doesn’t feel we made fun of Morris dancing, that we presented a balanced view and celebrated the tradition.

We hope there’s an appetite for this type of content in a wider audience as we’d love to make more films about Morris dancing. We’ve received a whole spectrum of feedback, the common threads are clear, the Morris community would like to see more diverse representations of all types of Morris Dancers and forms of Morris (especially Border) with a section explaining the various kinds of Morris and far more scenes featuring Barry Care throughout, if not even him presenting the next film!

We’re aware the documentary does focus on the more conservative elements of the Morris world but given the outcome of the vote, perhaps, those elements aren’t so conservative as originally perceived. We did try our best to give context to a wider world outside of the Ring, something which many picked up on and others have missed. It’s hard to be all things to all people but the focus of the film was to tell a compelling narrative in a balanced and celebratory way. We hope the overall picture is representative of themes found throughout the world of Morris such as team spirit, enjoyment of dance and offering an alternative form of masculinity and femininity, even if some of the details aren’t included.

Whilst, it’s only a documentary that passes an hour, it could have some future importance as a time capsule, bottling a historic moment of change for the Ring and it might also effect society’s wider view of Morris. It probably doesn’t change much within the community but I do hope it’s a force for good and if that’s the case then that gives it importance.

I’ve been made aware of a Border side from the Midlands and a Cotswold side in the North West that welcomed a couple of new recruits who'd watched the programme and decided to turn up. Hopefully, that trend will continue nationally and those new recruits will stick at it!

We’d like to thank all the sides and individuals who kindly let us film them over the year, especially The Manchester Morris Men, as without them we couldn’t have come up with the idea and for their patience when teaching Richard to dance. We’re also very grateful to The Fed and Open for their support, friendliness and help throughout the process too.

We’d like to apologies to all who didn’t feature but wanted to and I’m very sorry to those who felt they should have featured more but didn’t... funnily enough this is feedback I’ve received from pretty much everyone in the film, including Barry.

Finally I’d also like to publicly acknowledge Eddie Worrall, past Squire of the Ring, for believing in us when we pitched the idea of documenting the vote and for guiding us throughout the filming process. Many were initially against filming and it was the last thing he needed whilst organising the historic ARM meeting and dealing with a family bereavement. Eddie and all the other officers of the Ring were very welcoming, as were many of the members, once persuaded that our intentions were good. I hope we’ve repaid that trust by producing a balanced, rounded but also critical view of the Morris Ring and I hope the wider Morris community can also appreciate those elements too, even if their particular view or their way of the Morris isn’t represented as much or as fully as they would have liked.

If you have any additional feedback, please do email us here morris [at] libratelevision.com

We’re all converts now and maybe we’ll see some of you at future Morris events.

Best

David and the team.