Morning Star (Bledington) by Paul Woloschuk

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‘Morning Star’ is the name of a morris dance which comes from the Gloucestershire village of Bledington.
Bledington is an ordinary Gloucestershire Cotswold village, close to the Oxfordshire border where it’s own tradition of dancing the morris came to an end over 100 years ago.
In more recent times, revivalist sides (teams) keep the tradition alive, and my side (The Gloucestershire Morris Men) are one such example.
Here, they are performing on a cold November morning outside an old family brewery in Gloucestershire whilst I took some publicity shots for our 2010 programme.

Nikon D80. Nikkor 18-135mm

Gloucestershire Morris Men


  • Veronica Schultz
    Veronica Schultzover 5 years ago

    Great shot Paul! Thanks for adding to the dance photography group. :)

  • Thank you Veronica, I’m pleased that you liked it.

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • WildBillPho
    WildBillPhoover 5 years ago

    Cool! Like your historical notes, however, for us lame Yanks, why do they do a Morris dance in the first place? Is this part of a wedding or national festivities?

  • Why do we do it?? Hmmm – that’s a tough one!
    I guess it’s because we like to maintain an English tradition, and a tradition that is usually performed outside of a pub in the summer is well-worth keeping alive! ;-)
    Seriously though Bill, it is a traditional dance that is so old that nobody really knows it’s origin. It probably came to the UK from North Africa travelling through Spain, and there is reference in Shakespear’s writings of it being an ancient dance! Wiki Link

    Nowadays, it’s danced pretty much anywhere and at anytime (there’s also many sides in the USA!), although most ‘sides’ dance from May Day through to the end of the Autumn, with a special performance on Boxing Day (26th December), as this was the day when an English gentleman called Cecil Sharp watched morris dancing in Oxfordshire whilst staying with friends over Christmas 1899.
    This encounter inspired him to begin collecting the dances and tunes, and it’s Sharp’s notes that we still use as a reference source.

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • WildBillPho
    WildBillPhoover 5 years ago

    wow! Thank you very much for the lesson! I only have about 3 days total under my belt in England, and way back then, it was all about birdies and taverns!

  • :-)

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezover 5 years ago

  • Thank you Isa!

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • Elizabeth Bravo
    Elizabeth Bravoover 5 years ago

    Fun and merriment, this must have been great to watch. A wonderful capture. Congratulations on being featured!

  • Thanks Elizabeth, it was a bit cold though!

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • rodsfotos
    rodsfotosover 5 years ago

    A wonderful slice of out old English country folklore here Paul, reminds me of the New Year celebrations many years ago when I got conned into joining a group of them in the town square, well after that many drinks I was game at the time, great to see,
    Regards, Rod.

  • Thanks Rod. A drink or two definitely helps! ;-)

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • BigD
    BigDover 5 years ago

    colorful costumes and excellent work

  • Thanks BigD

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanover 5 years ago

    Oh I LOVE it!!!! Great image … you’ve really captured the essence of the movement!!!! I bet the music was stirring as well!!

  • Thanks Lois, I’m pleased that you like it. As regards the music; yes, it’s definitely stirring dancing music….unless I’m playing! ;-)

    – Paul Woloschuk

  • Uwe Rothuysen
    Uwe Rothuysenabout 5 years ago

    Great shoot Paul!
    A few days ago I saw this kind of dance in a “Inspector Barnaby” film episode..
    ..I remembered immediatly on your image…
    … a happy new year to you. I look forward to seeing your new work 2010.
    And thanks for your continuing support and encouraging words.

  • Di Jenkins
    Di Jenkinsabout 5 years ago

    I hope you’ll add this to the Dance group’s new challenge Native / Traditional Dances

  • Thanks very much for the suggestion Di.

    – Paul Woloschuk

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