Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Swanage Folk Fest

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The leaves are starting to turn along Sandbanks peninsula, the wind biting a bit deeper, the sand getting a longer run without the tourist’s windbreaks filling the beaches.  Most of the summer festivals have wrapped up now, music and art packed away until the holidays.  The event lists on Visit-Dorset / WhatsOnInDorset are thinning each week.

So, ‘best to let off steam by splashing in the puddles?

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‘Or by taking the chain ferry over to the Swanage Folk Festival?

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DSC08492 (1300x1016)I like Swanage a lot: it’s got a retro/laid-back/ Whole Earth feel that is relaxed and quirky.  I could see how  Fold Festival would really suit the site and the people: acoustic strings, lonely ballads, lots of hemp crafts and herbal teas.

The reality was a bit different.

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Morris Dancers.

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Many. Morris. Dancers. Many! 3-deep. 4-across. Sticks. Steps. Costumes. Hats. More-isss.  Everywhere.

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Fortunately Morris Dancers, for the most part, don’t venture out onto the parts that cost, so refuge could be found on the pier.

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Mostly……

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Notes: Morris dancing is is the oldest unchanged dance in England. It derives from a pagan tradition held to encourage fertility and the growth of crops, the returned from the Muslim world during the Crusades—hence morris, from Moorish.   The men dress in loose white fustian with colored baldrics crossing over their chests and backs, bells on their ankles, and flower-ornamented hats.  Handkerchiefs are waved and sticks whacked against one another while the pipe and tabor play somewhat tunelessly, hauntingly, in the background.