Like another of my recent posts this report is deliberately produced as a retrospective narrative. Many of my reports are reviews of past happenings and significant events. This is yet one more of my more journalistic accounts, written in the middle of a long and very hot summer, while looking back at a previous summer, only slightly less long and hot.
Wednesday the 26th of July 2017 was an evening of fine weather, little or no breeze and energetic dance routines. I once again visited the Royal Oak in Ockbrook, a village not far from Derby. Once again to watch and enjoy traditional dance demonstrations, by enthusiastic and talented performers. Two groups performed over the course of that summer evening in the adjacent carpark of the pub, the Restless Soles Appalachian Dance Team and Chip off the Old Morris Dancing Team.
Restless Soles are a mixed gender side performing Appalachian clog. They are a spirited and entertaining group whose dance steps display surprising complexity. Chip off the Old are an all women Morris dance side or the ‘Cotswold’ style. Somewhat more restrained in presentation, their performances have less kicking but still include plenty of jumps.
To observe two styles of dance in such juxtaposition, was in many ways a repeat of my experience at this same pub. That was earlier in the month at ‘Feet on fire - the Ockbrook Morris Day 1st July 2017’ when three groups performed (see link below). One is able to enjoy and appreciate, different styles of presentation, both complementary and contrasting.
The experience, like that of the earlier event and those I have attended in previous years, had a certain refined quaintness. So stereotypically English, so rural and oh so terribly middle class. Seated in a beer garden, with cider and cheese cob is so wonderfully ‘traditional’ and so very correct.
An evening at the pub on a warm summer evening, is something I really should participate in more often. Performances such as these make the perfect excuse and I am so looking forward to the 2018 season.
Videos on YouTube
Restless Soles Appalachian Dance Team
Chip Off the Old Morris Dancing Team
Feet on fire - the Ockbrook Morris Day 1st July 2017