Travelling Morrice Dancers kick up their heels in Midcoast

Aug 07, 2019
The American Travelling Morrice Dancers performing at The White House.

CAMDEN — The American Travelling Morrice Dancers perform throughout the area during their Maine tour Aug. 11 through 17. In 44 years of dancing, the group has danced in Maine four times, in 1979, 1989, 1996 and in 2004. All shows are free and open to the public. The American Travelling Morrice may also pop up around town, so keep your eyes peeled. See the lineup below; schedule subject to change.

Sunday, Aug. 11 – Camden

• 11:00 a.m. St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 33 Chestnut St.

• 1:00 p.m. Camden Public Library, 55 Main St.

• 3:15 p.m. Camden Waterfront

Monday, Aug. 12 – Belfast

• 1:00 p.m. Belfast Co-op, 123 High St.

Thursday, Aug. 15 – Rockland

• 10:30 a.m. Knox Long Term Care Facility, 6 White St.

• 11:30 a.m. Rockland Farmers’ Market, Harbor Park

• 2:00 p.m. Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St.

• 3:30 p.m. Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum St.

• 4:20 p.m. Center for Maine Contemporary Art, 21 Winter St.

Friday, Aug. 16 – Belfast/Searsport

• 9:00 a.m. Belfast Farmers’ Market, 256 High St.

• 10:45 a.m. Harbor Hill Center, 2 Footbridge Rd., Belfast

• 5:00 p.m. Searsport Shores Ocean Campground, 216 W. Main St.

Saturday, Aug. 17 – Camden/Belfast

• 9:45 a.m. Camden Farmers’ Market, 116 Washington St.

• 11:00 a.m. Camden Waterfront

• 3:00 p.m. Belfast Boathouse, 34 Commercial St.

• 4:00 p.m. Bayview Street, Belfast

• 6:15 p.m. Nautilus, 3 Main St., Belfast

The group is comprised of dancers and musicians from across North America and abroad. While many of them perform regularly with teams in their hometowns, they come together for one week each year to form the Travelling Morrice. Since 1976, the group has toured throughout the Northeastern United States and England.

Morris dancing is an English country tradition, with roots in medieval street theatre. For hundreds of years, teams of white-clad dancers have capered and stepped through the intricate patterns of the dance, clashing wooden sticks and waving handkerchiefs in time to lively traditional tunes.

A Morris “stand” is a colorful spectacle where dancers, with small bells strapped to their legs, leap through complex figures accompanied by the music of the accordion, fiddle, or the ancient pipe and tabor. Directing the proceedings with comical grace is the all-licensed “Fool,” whose antics amuse the onlookers and harass the dancers. Moreover, it was thought in ancient times that Morris dancing brought good luck and prosperity to the community.

The American Travelling Morrice continues this tradition for a week each summer, bringing the Morris dance to a new geographical region. For more information, including performances outside Knox and Waldo counties, visit americantravellingmorrice.org or contact your local venue.

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