Friday, 15 August 2014

Foxs dancing in Worcester for Foxtrot  (our very own weekend dance festival) 2014

Foxs Morris are a mixed Border Morris Dance side, based in the Worcestershire village of Cookley. Do explore this website and the side's Flickr, Twitter and Facebook pages to find out more and when you can see Foxs in action.

Foxs (and two 'hens') in Worcester for Foxtrot 2014

Foxs Origins

Foxs Morris started in the summer of 1999, when a group of friends got together with a mutual interest in the tradition of folk dance and music. This small group were all members of 'the Friends of Cookley School' or FOCS - hence FOCS Morris. After much confusion over our name, it was changed to FOXS Morris, which still causes some confusion due to the 's' on the end.

Nowadays Foxs Border Morris has become a larger group, but still retains a wonderfully friendly and inclusive community atmosphere. Much of the side is still made up of village residents or those connected with Cookley Primary School, whilst other members come each week from Worcester and the Black Country.

Kinver Country Fayre 2014

Over the years Foxs Morris have entertained thousands of people in audiences across the country and even Europe (Foxs were the first side to dance in front of the Brandenburg Gate!) The side have also made friends with countless other Morris teams, many of whom come to Foxs' annual weekend of dance in July, 'Foxtrot', as well as the 'Wassail' that the side hosts in the village in early January.
 

Border Morris

Foxs Morris perform an interpretation of the 'Border' Morris dances (so-called due to the counties' proximity to the border of England and Wales) collected in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. Almost every person you ask gives a different interpretation and theory of the origins, meanings & symbolisms of the Border Morris tradition. Foxs don't feel the need to agree on most of these, however certain aspects of the side's kit reflect some theories on the tradition's past as a form of winter begging:
  • Wearing bells- to add noise and rhythm
  • Dance with sticks- to add noise & look threatening
  • Blacken the face- to disguise dancers and musicians

Upton Folk Festival 2013

Whilst this history/folklore is both interesting and important, Foxs add their own contemporary touches to both the kit, style of dancing and music to keep Foxs Border Morris a 'living tradition'. For more information on the dances and music of Foxs Morris, check the Dances and Music page.
 

Joining

Foxs are a welcoming and inclusive group of musicians and dancers and are always happy to welcome new faces. If you are interested in what the side does, the best way to find out more & join in is to come along to a practice night (check the Contacts page for more details). There is no obligation to join, or to decide whether you would prefer to dance or play an instrument at the outset. Here are some things to consider:

Dancers: Foxs welcome all levels of prior experience and aim to be as inclusive as possible. If the side have an upcoming performance, it may be that some of a practice involves rehearsal for that; however there will still be plenty of opportunities to learn dances, as well as watching. Foxs don't assess or 'pass' new dancers before letting them dance with the side (as many sides in fact do), however you should know that to get the most from Morris dancing, you will need to attend most practices.

Foxs at Hallow Country Fair 2014

Musicians: If you play an instrument you would be welcome to join Foxs' band of musicians. You needn't be able to read music, though tunes and chords will be available should you prefer. Foxs particularly welcome melody or percussion instruments and prefer to play acoustically, rather than with amplification.


Some Foxs musicians playing at a wedding in Feckenham 2013