Black Joak Morris have many years of experience performing for a wide range of audiences in venues from traditional dance halls to circus big tops, elegant bars, inner city pubs and on country roads.
The sound of our talented band, plus the ringing bells as we dance, the flowers and ribbons on our costumes, and the cheerful energy of the morris, add an enlivening spirit to any event.
As well as traditional English folk dances we offer a wide range of other entertainment. We have danced, sung, played music, acted in plays, and taught workshops at weddings, birthday and christmas parties, corporate events, and festivals.
Costs & insurance
Please contact the Squire with the details of your event and what type of performance you would like us to provide, and we can discuss how to best suit your budget and requirements. Black Joak Morris hold personal accident and injury insurance and public liability insurance.
We perform short “sets” of dances at agreed intervals around your event. Our musicians do not need to be amplified. We require a dry, mostly flat surface of at minimum 2 x 4 metres to dance on. On hot days it is appreciated if a shady area and access to drinking water can be provided for our breaks.
Morris is best suited to stage performances of 30 – 45 minutes. Longer performances may be possible if we incorporate singing or musical acts. We can either perform a set of mostly dancing, or one that incorporates musical interludes or explanations of the history and structure of the dance.
The stage needs to be sturdy and have an even surface. Our musicians normally set up at the back or to one side of the stage and will require chairs and microphones. Our announcer will need one microphone, preferably wireless, at the front of the stage.
Our processional dances are suitable for parades, or to lead audiences to a particular site. Ideally all surfaces will be mostly flat and firm, and be clear of any trip hazards.
We can perform English folk songs, wassailing songs, or other folk tunes on request. We can lead group singing sessions where we teach audience members choruses and lead them in fun and rambunctious songs.
Plays & special performances
For more involved performances, it’s best to give us as much warning as possible.
Mummers’ plays are traditional English folk performances featuring at least two characters who fight, one of whom dies, and is resurrected. We write and perform our own Mummer’s play yearly, beginning in December, usually involving song, dance, hilarity, and elaborate costumes.
We can present a traditional play with a script from the 1800s, our own modernised version, or write a version specifically for your event. We need a flat surface, and can perform without amplification.
The Abbott’s Bromley Horn Dance is a slow and atmospheric traditional dance performed in hooded cloaks and with stag antlers. It is a memorable performance that suits dusk or night-time. The Abbots Bromley is not suitable for traditional processionals and cannot be performed on stage. Instead, it should appear and disappear “as if from nowhere”.