Reel Dance Ceilidhs

Bringing you the best in East Anglian Bands

Point Devis

North West Morris and Garland dancing

Venue for winter practice sessions The Gannon Rooms, Saxmundham
When Thursday evenings 8pm to 10pm

May 2011, Dancing at Butley

Point Devis was formed in 1996 to perform traditional North West and Garland dancing.  The name is Middle English for precisely and fastidiously and, is our aim when performing,  North West dancing was performed by mill workers in the North West of England on their days off, usually accompanied by the local brass band.  They would have worn their ordinary workday clothes decorated by the pinning on of ribbons.  However, they would have worn their ’Sunday Best’ shoes, as clogs would have been their everyday footwear. 

Some of our dances are in their original form and are named after the towns where they originated  e.g. Runcorn.  The rest of our repertoire is written by one of our members—Mr Ken May, and are in the ‘Whiston’ tradition.  Our side is a mixed one which means men & women dance together.  Up until the early 1900s most dancing was men only, women kept the tradition alive during the First World War and have been included in some teams since that time, others went back to men only. 

2013 Programme

Sunday 19th May - 12:00 Crab & Lobster Festival, Sheringham
Thursday 18th July - 19:30 Dunwich Ship
Saturday 3rd August - 19:30 Dolphin Inn, Thorpness
Wednesday 7th August - 19:30 Eels Foot, Eastbridge
Saturday 10th August - 12:45 Benhall Fete
Thursday 22 August - 19:30 Folk East Fringe Festival, Blaxhall Ship

Morris Dancing

Several  Tudor references to ‘Morris’ or ‘Morisco’ (the two terms seem to be interchangeable) in connection with holiday games and fairs, led to the theory that the dances are a remnant of pre-Christian religious rites, particularly as they are associated with seasonal festivities such as May Day and Christmas.  Unfortunately, during the late 1800s there was a rise of interest in popular antiquities and many amateur historians tended to assume that almost every surviving ‘quaint’ tradition had its roots in pagan religions in general and in fertility rites in particular.  This theory remained virtually unchallenged until late into the twentieth century, despite there being no supporting evidence for it.  

Another theory is that Morris Dancing is a descendant  of the ‘Morisco’ (Moorish) dances performed in pre-Tudor times at various locations in Europe, or by others to depict the Moors, or as a celebration of the Moors being driven out of Europe.  The suggestion is that common people tried to emulate the entertainments of the nobility and would have carried on some practices long after the courts themselves had lost interest.  However, despite the fact that no-one really knows its origins it is the English traditional dance and has probably always been performed because it is enjoyable, energetic and fun.

You can find us at IPscene - free community website for areas IP1 – IP17