And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

søndag 16. januar 2011

I'll tie a bell about him

Marry, every time that Ned sighs for the Keeper's daughter, I'll tie a bell about him: and so within three or four days I will send word to his father Harry, that his son, and my master Ned, is become Love's morris-dancer.
- Robert Greene, The Honourable Historie of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Scene 1)

Sunday after my arrival in York i visited the art gallery to see Pieter Brueghel the Younger's Procession to Calvary, a magnificent piece of art that now fortunately will remain accessible to the public at Nostell Priory in Yorkshire. The gallery also has a very nice collection of sundry Dutch masters and 18th century English painters, and I look forward to render the collection further visits in the future.

After this high culture experience I decided to take a stroll around the city to see what would ensue. I headed towards Minster through Petergate as this seemed the most natural route to take, and soon I heard a merry tune emerging from just beyond the walls of Bootham Bar.

When I came through the gate I stumbled upon a team of morris dancers, dressed and equipped with sticks, handkerchiefs and bells, accompanied by a range of instruments. It was a very amusing spectacle and they were without question very skilled since the morris dance requires a high degree of coordination, a point that becomes all the more impressive due to the number of participants. 

 There are also female morris dancers as can be witnessed here.

 Whereas swords are used in some variants of morris dance, these merry men considered sticks the better option.

 The dance was performed in the shadow of Bootham Bar, hence the poor lighting quality of these pictures.

I for my part hope to stumble upon a team of morris dancers again very soon, it is a spectacle to take delight in.

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