English sailors returning from Spain brought the original form of Morris dance to England. They travelled via France, across the English channel and up the River Thames and introduced it to the court of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace. The dance then spread across the country with different regions developing their own distinct style.
Morris dancing is just one of the English traditions celebrated at An English Ceilidh - the first event of this year's Coin Street Festival. Alongside Morris "sides" demonstrating Cotswold Morris, Sword dancing and clog dancing, is a music stage featuring Hekety with their mix of traditional and self-penned English dance music; the energetic sounds of Gig CB (musicians from classic bands Rosbif and Gas Mark 5); and Boka Halat founded by Roger Watson and Musa Mboob with their fusing of traditional English dance tunes with the music of Gambia and Senegal. There is plenty of opportunity to jig along.
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