About Us
About Morris Dancing

Well, for a start it's English, and has been around for a long long time, though where it originated is mostly explained by the old phrase 'Lost in the Mists of Time'.

The word 'Morris' has been recorded at least as far back as 1458 and we know it was used in Shakespeare's time, even appearing in some of his plays (well, at least the word did!),and it was considered a mysterious and ancient art even then. That word was used to describe a particular dance form, though whether it was the same as the Morris we know today is the cause of much debate.

The dancers have been regarded as the bringers of luck, ensuring sunshine, fertility and good crops ...at least that's one theory! In return for this service to the community contributions of money are collected during the dancing, which is good for us, but there's probably as many theories on the origin of Morris as there are dancers!

What you generally see of Morris these days derives from what was collected around the turn of the 19th century. Only a handful of sides were still dancing, and they weren't young, so the dances and styles were recalled, cajoled and even pulled like teeth from those few remaining souls that were still dancing or could remember what dances they did and vaguely how they went.

Morris Dancing is currently undergoing a wonderful new revival both in the UK and Australia, as more and more young people discover the joy of the Morris dance tradition as well as being part of a truly extraordinary community.

Hedgemonkey is:
Alanna   Dave   Daniele   Kim
    Little Rach   Rachel    
    The Musos    
Bron   Fiona   Lisa   Val
  About Hedgemonkey

Formed in 2000 by Kim Brown, Paul Gooding and Bronny Lloyd, Adelaide’s Hedgemonkey Morris has taken Australian Cotswold Morris Dancing into a new era – receiving wide acclaim both in Australia and in the UK (via the magic of modern technology!).

Hedgemonkey dance what is known as 'Cotswold Morris' from the Cotswold Hills in the upper Thames Valley, around Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Most villages in the area could field a Morris team in their day, each having their own distinct style, or in some cases a very similar style to a neighbouring village, which occasionally caused some dissension.

Hedgemonkey's style, or tradition, derives from the village of Ascott-Under-Wychwood. We refer to it as 'Ascottesque', just so those traditionalists won't be too put out, but as tradition to us means 'ever evolving' we hope we are interpreting the essence of the dance without losing its integrity.

Hedgemonkey has maintained the traditional stepping and hand movements peculiar to the Ascott style but has incorporated them into new and exciting dances using original choreography and new tunes. While traditional Cotswold Morris consists of a set of six or eight people (usually in two lines), Hedgemonkey’s choreography features a varying number of dancers forming circular, linear and triangular patterns.

As well as new contemporary dances, the team’s repertoire also includes traditional material to maintain, and indeed strengthen the link with Morris past. The performance is based on high energy, innovation and precision - and the team’s philosophy is simple: strive for a high standard of dance, respect the past and have a good time!

In comparison to that of most traditional teams, Hedgemonkey’s kit is deliberately simple and contemporary, consisting of a white collarless shirt, black jeans, tri-coloured armbands, white shoes and that most distinctive feature of Morris Dancing - bell pads below the knees. The performance is accompanied by live music provided by accordion, recorder and drum.

Hedgemonkey has delighted audiences at major events throughout Australia, including the Woodford Folk Festival, the Australian National Folk Festival, the English Ale, Victor Harbor Folk Festival, Fleurieu Folk Festival and the Port Festival. The side also regularly dances to the music of Adelaide folk rock band Spiral Dance, continuing to bring the spectacle of the Morris to new audiences.

Here’s what people have said about us:

‘….highly disciplined dancing’

‘...teamwork and attention to detail’

‘you can hear a pin drop when Hedgemonkey dances…’

‘great innovation giving new life to this ancient dance form….’

'..will these morris dancers ever leave the pub?'


  Designed by Kim Brown