After its appearance at the Brit awards, The Higgins Bedford showcases Morris dancing

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Is the tradition getting a resurgence?

The English tradition of Morris dancing will take centre stage at The Higgins Bedford over the St George’s Day weekend.

The free event – on Saturday, April 22, from 11am to 3pm – will have a whole host of talks, discussions and displays of Morris dancing.

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The county's lacemaking history goes under the spotlight at The Higgins Bedford
Morris dancers perform with Wet Leg during The BRIT Awards at The O2 Arena in February (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)Morris dancers perform with Wet Leg during The BRIT Awards at The O2 Arena in February (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Morris dancers perform with Wet Leg during The BRIT Awards at The O2 Arena in February (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Although it’s one of England’s oldest surviving rural traditions, it’s seen something of a resurgence with dancers wowing audiences at the Brits alongside award-winning band Wet Leg earlier this year.

Saturday starts with a talk and discussion from 11am to 12.30pm about how Morris dancing has changed in recent history. Subjects will include the growth of women’s and mixed Morris dancing, new approaches, and the impact of the equality and diversity debates.

Experts will share research and memories of Morris dancing, while reflecting on the changes they have seen over the years. Contributions and questions from visitors are welcome.

The celebration continues with Morris dancing in the courtyard – between 1.30-3pm – where Hemlock Morris, Red Cuthbert Morris and Golden Hare Morris will each demonstrate their own unique approaches.

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Hemlock Morris will be The Higgins Bedford on Saturday, April 22Hemlock Morris will be The Higgins Bedford on Saturday, April 22
Hemlock Morris will be The Higgins Bedford on Saturday, April 22

The entertainment ends with a traditional mummers’ play by the Barfront Guizers in which St George and a valiant knight argue over who killed the dragon.

Councillor Doug McMurdo, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: “The Higgins Bedford is open every Sunday 2pm to 5pm, which means people can visit on St Georges Day – April 23 too – and explore our local and national history and traditions.”

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