Morris Dancers Invade Seattle

More than 100 morris dancers will celebrate the north american debut of the film morris: a life with bells on
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May 14, 2009 - PRLog -- Dancers from British Columbia to Arizona and all points in between will converge in Seattle this Memorial Day Weekend. Their purpose, to dance at the screening of Morris: A Life With Bells On at the Seattle International Film Festival, and participate in the Northwest Folklife Festival. Morris dancing is an English form of folk dance, which involves rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers using items such as sticks, swords, and most importantly, handkerchiefs. Though less well-known here in the US, Morris dancing has quite a following.

Morris: A Life With Bells On is a critically acclaimed, independent film from the UK. The film is a heartwarming feature length “mockumentary” that follows the fortunes of one of the leading Morris teams in the country, and in particular those of its avant garde leader, Derecq Twist. Derecq manages to incur the wrath of the Morris Circle (the political and sinister governing body of Morris dance in England) with his concepts of modernizing Morris, and thus begins the true adventure.

In the UK, the film has garnered the attention of the press, and perhaps more importantly, of ordinary people, and Morris dancers alike. Some locations had to show the film as many as five times a day in order to meet the demand for tickets. If support for the debut is any indication, US audiences appear to be following suit.

What would possess so many people to travel so far to participate in the event? In a word: dedication. Morris dancers are a devoted and diverse group of people. From the costumes – more commonly referred to as “kits” which typically include ribbons, and of course bells – to the fact that traditionally it is only men that perform Morris dance (although this is a hotly debated issue), one can see that it is necessary to be dedicated in order to truly embrace this form of dance in the manner it deserves.

As Kimberly Christensen, Squire of the local Seattle team Sound and Fury Morris & Sword says, “Morris dancers are creative and independent people. We felt it was important to show our support for a film that not only showcases the dance that we love, but entertains people in the process.”

For his part, Chaz Oldham, writer, producer and lead actor in the film says of the phenomenon, “This is a nice film about good people and is an antidote to these dark times. It is a film for ordinary people, people who have been disenfranchised by the multiplex experience and who are sick to death of endless blood, guts and violence. We are delighted that SIFF has invited us to screen in competition and have been thrilled by the way that the US Morris community has got behind us from the outset. We fervently hope that the people of the US will take to Morris in the same way that people in the UK have and further hope that our film will help every man, woman and child find their inner bells”.

The film is showing Saturday, May 23rd at 11:00 AM and Sunday, May 24th at 7:00 PM as part of the Seattle International Film Festival and in conjunction with the Northwest Folklife Festival.

For more information about the movie, or to schedule an interview at the upcoming debut with Chaz Oldham, writer, producer and lead actor in the film, please contact Ethan Spanier at or via the website at

Find further information on The Seattle International Film Festival at For additional information on the Northwest Folklife festival, please visit

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About Twist Films: Twistfilms is a small, UK based independent feature film company. It was formed in 2006 by Charles Thomas Oldham and Lucy Akhurst. This is their first feature. Twist Films Morris Ltd - Fourth Floor, 88 Onslow Gardens, London, SW7 3BS +44 20 7370 2464
Source:Twist Films Morris Ltd.
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Tags:Morris Dancing, Folk Dancing, Siff, Independent Film, English Film, Uk Film, Morris
Industry:Arts, Movies, Hobbies
Location:Washington - United States
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