Boggarts dancing on your radio
Nov 25 2012
Nikki and Bob got up bright and early on Friday to meet Mr Toby Foster of BBC Sheffield Radio on Friday (complete with bells and melodeon). He wanted to know about our lack of beard growth, why we aren’t over 60 and more importantly is it really possible to dance to heavy metal? We were promoting our West Street Live dance with Folk Metal Band Northern Oak which is happening tonight. But not before we taught Jenny, the assistant a few morris steps!
You can listen to our interview here about 33 minutes in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p010r6p7#programme-broadcasts
Or if you are super keen, we were th highlight of the show as a downloadable podcast here called ‘Heavy Metal Morris dancing’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/toby (available for 29 more days)
Nottingham Castle Lace Exhibition
Nov 18 2012
We were invited to dance at Nottingham Castle to help open a new exhibition on lace. Dancing in the long gallery presented a few challenges - namely the potential to damage a few paintings and a really slippery floor!
We had a great time, and to get into the lace spirit, here are some videos of us debuting our hybrid kit for more showy occassions such as these.
Bedlam in Berkshire
Jul 13 2012
Well, we had a lovely time with Berkshire Bedlam, Great Western, Holt, Mortimers, Fool’s Gambit Morris, Betty Luptons, Flag and Bone in Berkshire last weekend. We didn’t drown… although dancing Hanter Dro with a river running down Windsor high street was a bit soggy.
Thanks again to Berkshire Bedlam for being such wonderful hosts, and congratulations on your 35th Birthday!
Brilliant Boggart Birthday Bash
May 29 2012
Boggarts were out in force over the weekend to celebrate a very loved member’s 50th birthday. We toured the pubs of Youlgreave (or is it Youlgrave?) in Derbyshire in beautiful sunny weather.
When the rest of us were exhausted by the heat, the birthday boy carried on. He did another dance, then another.
When there was no-one left with any energy at all, he did a jig. In fact, he did every dance of the day. Perhaps he is solar-powered? Either way he is amazing.
Happy birthday Elmo!
All the fun of the fair!
May 09 2012
Boggarts made their television debut on May 2nd, so we are officially famous in the world of Children’s television! We’ve had lots of lovely comments on our performance; many were shocked and surprised to see us all look, well, so smiley! It might have had something to do with Director shouting ‘eyes and teeth’ but we’re not scary all the time. (Apart from the drummers - they look terrifying even with a smile).
Don’t worry if you missed it, we’re on again on Wednesday 17th May, 15.55 on CBeebies. For those of you who are super keen to see us, check out iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01h8qv2/ZingZillas_Series_4_The_Little_Pigs_Saved_the_Day/
Oh, and our episode should be called ‘All the fun of the fair’...the pigs are not involved at all. Thank goodness.
Boggarts on Cbeebies
Feb 09 2012
How awesome is that? We’ve just done the filming for our appearance on Cbeebies music show ZingZillas. Not sure when it’s coming out, but believe me, I will post a link to it when it arrives.
It was really fun, we danced and played (or acted; they’d already recorded the sound) up to a proper Boggarts standard and they treated us really well and the whole thing was just delightful. Oh, and they fed us lunch, which was very nice, though apparently the curry was too hot for even the most curry-loving Boggarts.
Well, onwards and upwards, best get ready for our next great adventure!
Dec 21 2011
Merry Christmas from Boggart’s Breakfast. Pretend you’re drunk when the camera goes sideways (it seemed like a good idea at the time.)
Boot Camp and The Opera House
Nov 21 2011
Last weekend was Boggart Boot Camp, where we develop new material and work on stuff that we don’t want to have eating up our normal weekly practice time. It was as successful as always, including a fabulous meal in the evening with stuff brought by (or made on the day by) Boggarts, mainly Michelle who made the chilli for the main course.
We made tons of progress on all the new dances queuing up for debut, and I think we scraped through Monkey Island with two different sets, so I have high hopes we’ll get it out in time for Berkshire Bedlam’s Weekend next summer. Also, Lisa’s Dance is coming along nicely, should be out very soon. The Wedding Dance, written for our very own Nikki’s wedding this past summer, has been rewritten to actually work, and we danced it through a few times, so we might break our own record and bring out three new dances next season.
After the weekend, exhausted though we all were, we bravely struggled into our evening kit and attended Time, Gentlemen, Please at the Buxton Opera House. I booked the boxes, of course, because there’s no point going to the theatre looking like that if you’re not going to be seen. We were magnificent, and got a great deal of attention, including a photo call after the show by one of the ushers who took pictures of us in the boxes and in the dress circle. It was a great show, very enjoyable and inspirational.
Eynsham Morris: Brilliant
Sep 13 2011
Last weekend we went down to Eynsham, near Oxford, to be hosted by Eynsham Morris, whom we hosted at our 2010 Weekend of Dance in Hathersage. There are so many wonderful things to report about it that I’m afraid I’m not going to get around to them all, but the first thing that jumps up and down and waves its arms to be said is: they are the loveliest group of people this side of I dunno where! Every one of them was welcoming and enthusiastic and talkative and attentive and just a first rate host. We were put up in their homes, in some style, and given a fabulous breakfast before being put on a coach and taken round some lovely countryside, into Oxford, to the pub for lunch, all over to beautiful places with good audiences. The evening do had most of us up way past our bedtimes, playing and singing in the local function room.
It’s just marvellous the way they are a proper community, probably because they only take members who were born in the village or who currently live in the village, so they all know each other, they’ve got multiple generations dancing together, they see each other in everyday life as well as in the context of dancing, and it the cohesion of that produces a lovely atmosphere. I think we have a little of that in Boggarts, because we go on weekends together that are not about performance, so we spend a decent chunk of time just being around each other. I’d recommend it to any team.
The Lord Mayor of York
Sep 07 2011
York Festival of Traditional Dance was a blast, what a beautiful city York is! How exceedingly fine to spend a day dancing for mobs of tourists and other teams!
Darren found a rather fine top hat at a shop and shall henceforth be known as the Lord Mayor. And speaking of the Lord Mayor, we were given medals, simply for taking part. Bless them.
Most Boggarts are already taking them apart and steampunking them for inclusion in their kits. It may sound irreverent and disrespectful, but I assure you, it is the highest flattery from us if we shred something, paint it silver and blue, and stick it on our hats.
I very much hope we’ll be invited again, and next time I definitely intend to bring my camera and get some shots of Boggarts in all their magnificence against some of the fabulous backdrops to be had around York. And another trip to the three excellent chocolate shops wouldn’t go amiss either.
Boggarts Rock (geddit?)
Aug 02 2011
Boggarts have returned, triumphant, from our first (and only the second ever) High Voltage Rock Festival. They spotted us at some other event and we debated for a good 5 minutes before we accepted. Bit out of our comfort zone, but worth it for the crazy pictures we got with rockers. It could have gone either way, but we went down really well with the crowd, had a solid ring of audience every time we danced and got a very cheering cheer every time. Loads of people commented that they’d either never seen or never liked morris dancing before us and we had converted them. Hooray. Goal achieved.
Feb 07 2011
One of my favourite things about Boggarts is the talent we seem to attract. It’s not always dance or music talent - we get a lot of complete beginner and we encourage people to try new roles, so sometimes we are working with pretty low initial skill. I mean the peripheral talents of members who are creative and skillful outside of Boggarts and bring that talent in to make what we do more colourful. I think it started with an influx of Live Action Role Play geeks a few years ago, one of whom brought all kinds of kit and characterisation ideas, and basically invented the character of the Boggart, which is now our mascot. Since then we’ve had so many outside influences, from circus to rock music to burlesque costume design, it sometimes borders on the chaotic.
I am delighted to welcome our latest resident artist-cartoonist Sal’s contribution, particularly as it portrays me particularly aptly. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I feel an alternative t-shirt coming on.
Boggarts Weekend of Dance
Sep 20 2010
Our second weekend of dance was a glorious success, though it left us all shattered. Weeks of preparations and incredibly hard work from the whole team meant that we achieved all our ambitions for the weekend and our guests reported having had a very good time indeed. The Saturday night feast was incredible (with some suggesting our caterer, Mark of Food Of Love , http://www.foodoflovecatering.co.uk, deserved a Michelin star.) One of the highlights was dancing in the Devil’s Arse (a cave in Castleton), with each team giving a performance, including an especially breathtaking song from Eynsham. Proper magical it was. Now then… time to start planning the next one.
Our First Sidmouth
Aug 11 2010
Well, that was exhilarating. Boggarts have emerged from their first Sidmouth unscathed (for the most part) and excited to do it again someday. When we’ve rested up a bit. A week is a really long time. But we made some new friends, including the fabulously step-perfect Gaorsach Rapper and Step and met up with old friends like Pig Dyke (WE LOVE YOU!) and Sheffield City (Sorry we only saw you the once!). The weather was great, the fish and chips were… actually, a little disappointing, but we can thoroughly recommend Brophy’s as the best cafe/lunch joint in town, thanks for all the gluten free lemon muffins on the run, guys! Anyway, now, onwards and upwards towards our weekend of dance!
Boggarts Dance For Life
Apr 22 2010
Boggarts are officially in training to dance the 5k Race for Life for Cancer Research UK this summer. The event takes place in Sheffield on Sunday, 20 June at 2:30pm. Only the girls are allowed to take part, which has left the men bereft and dejected, but they are bravely agreeing to sit in a pub and drink beer while we are out having a blast. Bless them.
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We Support Folk Against Fascism.
Mar 30 2010
Well, it’s not always easy to agree on stuff, but this, we have decided, we all agree on. We are backing Folk Against Fascism in their effort to counter the BNP’s recent attempts to promote nationalism with folk music. Of course English traditional culture is beautiful and precious and worth celebrating and preserving, but what the hell good is it if it’s not for sharing? As an immigrant, I feel personally affronted by the idea that any folk culture should be used as a tool for excluding outsiders from the culture in question. The English folk community helped me make this country my home and I’m proud to consider myself at least partly English. And any BNP member who thinks his or her family didn’t migrate here at some point in the past was obviously not paying attention in history class. -Grace
Mar 07 2010
We shared a stage with (or rather we invaded the stage of) the Spooky Men at Towersey. They were lovely, and one of them fell hopelessly in love with our tiny, little Abi and gave her his tricorn hat in exchange for hers. He later proved fickle and they exchanged back, much to her chagrin, but this pictorial evidence has just come to light. Be wary of exchanging hats with strange men from far places… isn’t there a folk song to that effect?
Speaking of the Spooky Men, you really must go and build your own:
A Rather Lovely Christmas Party
Dec 08 2009
Well, it’s been that time of year again and Boggarts have celebrated in their time-honoured posh frocks, but in a new venue, the Walnut Club in Sheffield, which is very posh indeed. The food was incredible (always is, that’s why I love it) and the atmosphere was brilliant, particularly in light (get it) of the fact that they can change the colour of the walls, bar and tables to suit, so of course we had it all blue.
Everyone went above and beyond in terms of looking amazing, and Grace even debuted her “evening kit” in the hopes that we will all be kitted out like deranged victorian showgirls when we go out as a team of an evening. Well, I suppose the men could be deranged victorian gentlemen thieves, that might be more appropriate, mightn’t it?
Aren’t We Popular?
Sep 29 2009
An incredible influx of newbies this year has swelled our ranks to above 40, which is just ludicrous, really. However, they’re all very promising, we’re pushing them through the training at a clip and they’re coping fine so far. Face painting lessons uncovered some serious talent among their ranks, so watch the photos for some great new faces. Now if any of them last more than a month or two, I’ll have to see about adding them to the team profile pages…
Another AGM Survived
Sep 09 2009
Another year, another AGM and no blood spilt this time. A bunch of stuff was decided, but we’ve all forgotten what it was by now, so next Monday we’ll just get on with dancing roughly as we always have. The only bit I remember is that there are about 10 newbies coming to join, so it’ll be a bit hectic for the first few weeks. Well, bring it on, if there’s anything we can cope with, it’s hecticity.
Boggarts Triumph at Towersey
Sep 01 2009
Last weekend’s Towersey Folk Festival was a great success for us; we danced well, ate well, drank very well indeed (some of us more than others) and were able to sabotage the ceilidh tent in order to avoid having to perform our play. Just kidding, it was Hammersmith who sabotaged the ceilidh tent, and we were gutted not to perform the play. Never mind, we’ve just had the official pre-invitation to Sidmouth, and we’re spreading rumours that we’ll practice the play for a year and put it on then. Perhaps we will have got good at it by then. No promises.
Thanks to everyone who gave us such good feedback on the ground, we really enjoyed dancing and were pleased that so many people came up and said they’d enjoyed watching. Made us all warm and fuzzy. We particularly enjoyed overhearing people explaining to their children that the campsite toilets’ water was blue because the Boggarts lived in there, and if they took too long on the loo, they’d get their bottoms bitten. We’re currently working on a poem about this. Watch this space.
Workshop attenders: I’m sorry if anyone believed the boggarts who were suggesting that our dance notation was available on our website. The truth is, there is no dance notation, except in a couple of cases where overseas teams have requested written instruction to accompany youtube videos from which they were learning stuff. If you can’t figure it out by watching youtube, please write to us and we’ll see if we can explain it.
Thanks! -Scary Grace