Morris contemporary youth dance project
Spring Force fused morris with contemporary dance, delivered by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 2010 in partnership with Pavilion Dance/Dance South West and created with So We Boys Dance, the all male youth dance group for South West England.
The dancers aged 13 to 19 spent two intensive weekends working with their own contemporary choreographer Benjamin Dunks and morris choreographer Laurel Swift, to create a four-minute dance work fusing movements and figures of traditional Cotswold morris with contemporary dance. The live musical score for the piece, based on traditional morris tunes, was created and performed by concertina player and composer Robert Harbron.
In autumn 2010 So We Boys Dance performed Spring Force at three high profile venues:
"The inclusion of Spring Force in the Pavilion Dance Gala aimed to include a dance form which is popular and widely practiced in the South West, but rarely shown on-stage. We wanted to highlight how the interaction between progressive professional artists and local dancers can achieve an artistically strong work for the theatrical stage... Our audiences equally were inspired and emotionally moved by a work which employed complex choreography and a real sense of collective and individual identity." Eckhard Thiemann, Artistic Programme Consultant for Dance South West / Pavilion Dance, and the Gala’s producer
Through Spring Force we aimed to demonstrate that morris is a dynamic, challenging and creative dance form with value for young dancers, whilst contributing to the development of the form and widening the contexts in which it takes place.
Spring Force helped to create new and positive links between traditional dance and the wider world of dance, and to raise the profile of the folk arts in the UK.