Eken Morris Dancers was formed in Stockholm 1979. The formation was a result of a growing interest in English folk music in the 1970’s. Today Eken Morris Dancers have a side of about 15 dancers/musicians. Our musicians play melodeon, concertina and fiddle.
The basic repertoire and dance technique was taught to us by English morris dancers who have visited us in Stockholm. We do morris dances from Southern Midlands, “Cotswold Morris”, mainly from villages of Bampton, Adderbury, Oddington, Bledington and Headington in Oxfordshire. Eken Morris Dancers is a mixed side using costumes of the traditional men’s morris style: white shirt, white trousers, baldricks and ribbons with colours of green, red and yellow. A black hat and bell-pads on the legs and the outfit is complete. Our animal is “Mooses”, a Swedish moose, a favourite among children.
Why then, Swedes as we are, concentrate on morris dancing? Partly because we are fascinated by the mysterial elements of the dances, of show and of dressing up. Partly because we are inspired by the connection between old pagan rituals and the modern society. We also like the feeling of participating in a living tradition which stems from a country that we all are interested in.
During the summer season you can find us dancing outside the pubs in Stockholm. Why not join a great English tradition of dressing in odd clothes and making a spectacle of yourself, with intricate footwork and stick-tapping to sprightly music. Exercise, fun and beer – what’s not to like?
By the way, if you wonder about our name, Eken means “oak tree” which is an old nickname for Stockholm.
May 19, 2005 – photo by Henrik Levkowitz.