26th January 2019
Dolphin Morris (and friends)
with their revival of
The Nottingham Dancing Butchers
Saturday January 26th saw the revival of the Nottingham Dancing Butchers, at
Dancing England 2019. Last revived in 1986 at a previous Dancing England, based on records from the 1700’s which included a reference in the Tattler magazine of 1710 and an etching from the period. The Dancing Butchers team was made up of 4 from the 1986 revival, and 7 from the Dolphin membership.
The performance consisted of 3 sections, each being introduced in verse, or “rhyming cutlets” :
A song, “Who’s pigs are these”, with accompaniment played on the Cleavers. The singing, led by Andy was to his usual high standard. The Cleaver accompaniment, with the benefit of the adrenaline of the moment, was almost faultless and better than ever achieved in rehearsal!
A dance with the tune of chorus figure played on the Cleavers. This dance, playing to our strengths, went smoothly. The chorus of the Bobby Shafto tune had a rhythm that fell naturally on the Cleavers.
A dance involving “Daisy” the clog dancing cow being butchered for her meat. Daisy, step danced to the front of the stage and the butchers danced around her. As a part of this the Butchers came in, in turn, to collect their portion of meat.
Vegetarians were not forgotten!
There was an audible gasp from the audience, when the first cleaver was swung at Daisy. One of the Butchers took a tumble with an over enthusiastic back swing when chopping at Daisy. However the timely way he recovered made it seem a part of the act, as though Daisy had given him a kick!!
Video links on this page will show you what words cannot.
The performance went so well that the
Dancing Butchers may yet be seen again when Dolphin Morris are out on Tour!
The Dancing England Show is to be recommended to all those interested in the folk custom of our country. The Organisers put on a very good show and are to be congratulated.
Fingers crossed for another in 2021!