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February 15, 2015

Cricket Anyone?

Actually this is another post about Morris dancing...

Did I really think that I could come home from the National Tour and rest up for the sake of my ankles? Not with the Cricket World Cup Opening looming right on my doorstep.
Both Christchurch Morris dancing sides, the Tussock Jumpers and Nor' West Arch, were involved as programmed acts during the pre-ceremony entertainment happening around Hagley Park.

The UK Daily Mail didn't quite get the picture when they declared that "Maori warriors shared the stage with morris dancers," but the Tussock Jumpers were flattered never the less, to make it into the international broadcast and get that brief exposure.

Graham from Nor' West Arch - that's him towering above the others in the photo below - had organised for our two groups

to present three styles of Morris dancing between us: North West, Border and Cotswold. Regular practice nights were serious work-outs with attention to choreography, transition between dances, and visits from the organisers. Then last week, it was time for on-site rehearsals with fine tuning for everyone concerned...

We performed on one of four themed stages, with the Woolston Brass band, adorable Highland dancers,

and Irish dancers, who did get to share the big stage with Maori warriors late in the evening!

The entertainment on the stages was intended to be a backdrop for 'backyard' cricket games, which were played out by children from the Metropolitan Cricket clubs while roving entertainers kept the crowd engaged.

It was hard to get away from our stage to see other acts but on opening night, I did manage to get over to see the Indian Banghra dancers... and snuck in on their group photo session just before the opening ceremony. I loved the way the men were completely at ease with their bodies as they danced - very captivating.

Moving on from our time at the 'Traditional As' stage,

all of the performers processed through the gathered crowd before dispersing to watch the Opening ceremony on the big stage, or the huge screens set up around the park.

Now of course three games have already been won... how could New Zealand not win their first home match! Australia and South Africa have also won their matches. On with the Show, and special thoughts of my English cricketing cousins, the Lerigos. The family team, in their cricket whites, hung on my fridge for ages, looking for all the world like a troupe of Morris men!

Photos various by J Hobby, K Jamison, G Rippon


Cro Magnon said...

My goodness, the whole world was there, and you even had a London bus and a picture of Dr Grace. Fabulous.

Steve said...

This Morris Dancing thing is getting BIG!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Cro Magnon: Grace and favour. When a London bus gets to NZ new owners keep All the signage no matter what their business. There was one parked outside our village pub a few weeks ago.

Steve: I promise I won't mention it again... for awhile ;-)