Ragged Band Border Morris formed in 2005. We are a group of mixed (men and women) Morris dancers and musicians based in Brisbane. We aim to bring ancient traditions, magic and mystery to life in our enthusiastic presentation of dance spectacle.
This dance form originates in the United Kingdom and has evolved over many centuries into different regional traditions of styles. The origin of the name Morris is uncertain but might have come from the dancers blacking/painting their faces as a form of theatrical disguise, the only black people known to the population of the times were Moors, hence Moorish dancing - Morris dancing. Morris Dancing was clearly regarded as a very ancient custom in Shakespeare's time - he mentions it in several plays - and although the first written reference is 15th Century, it seems likely to have roots in Anglo-Saxon or Celtic times.
Our tradition is now known as Border originating from the borders of England and Wales, where researchers in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire discovered a variant of morris dancing often referred to in archives as Bedlam or Border Morris. Here the dancers still wore disguise, mostly blacking or painting their faces, making a great deal of noise as the name implies and invariably used sticksl. This style of Morris looks and feels rather closer to an earlier ancient origin in contrast to other Morris traditions.
Ragged Band Border Morris performs at many festivals, carnivals, fetes and markets throughout South East Queensland. In addition to Morris Dancing performances we offer Morris Dancing workshops, Maypole displays and workshops, as well Flaming Morris Dance performances and fire twirling. We are available for hire for your next event!