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Morris Dancing Is Cool

The holidays deserve a bit of fun, so here’s a video from across the pond. It’s a selection from the BBC show Argumental where teams comedically debate a proposition, in this case: Morris dancing is cool. Special guests are London’s Greensleeves Morris Men. Please note the content is slightly PG-13 rated, and not just because of the morris dancing.


The proposition doesn’t quite win out, but it’s clearly close. Compelling arguments are made on both sides; I’ll admit it’s hard to argue with the point that morris dancing is indeed “the least stealthy of the martial arts”.

More reflectively, it’s revealing to see something folky through the vantage point of mainstream coverage, particularly when that coverage is neither entirely reverent nor mocking. This clip gives us that unusual vantage, with good fun being poked against the background of a fair amount of respect, from both sides, for morris and morris dancers. And after all, who can disagree with the ultimate conclusion that if morris dancers are not cool, they certainly are hot?

Are there other interesting examples of mainstream media attention to traditional dance/music/song that come to mind? What do see in the relationship between the traditional and mainstream? Is morris the least stealthy of the martial arts? Your comments welcome.

– Max