Nancy Butterfly were formed in 1980. We dance in the North-West Morris tradition. This is a style which is both exuberant, energetic and keeps you fit! Amongst the many things which distinguish it from the other Morris traditions are the distinctive clogs which can be seen and heard during our performances!
See some videos here.
And photos from events here
NANCY BUTTERFLY hope to keep the tradition alive. We dance at Folk Festivals and welcome bookings to dance at local events, pubs, and inns. Due to work commitments we find it difficult to fulfil requests for daytime bookings (Mon to Fri). But Contact us to check our availability at Weekends and evenings. Please note that due to the nature of our footwear it is necessary to have a hard, non-slip and preferably flat surface to dance on! (ie. not grass.)
NB. We are always happy to welcome new members! Dancers and musicians are welcome, the main qualification needed is enthusiasm! Practices from September to April take place on Monday evenings at the Catshill Methodist Church Hall 66 Golden Cross Lane Catshill B61 0LG (map here). They are ongoing (times and dates HERE)- or contact us for details. It is a good idea to check if we are practicing, as during the 'season' we try to arrange 'Dance Outs' with other sides at different venues.
We are members of the Morris Federation.
See the original sketch map by Norman Neasom RWS, RBSA, (from which the name 'Nancy Butterfly' was derived).
There are several types of Morris Dancing. 'Cotswold' is the tradition that most people will be familiar with, often white shirt and trousers with a distinctive coloured baldrick, using sticks or handkerchiefs. However, there are other traditions such as 'Border', often stick dances, dancers wearing rag jackets, coloured faces, lots of energy and noise! And 'North-West' the tradition we follow. ('Bells' feature in most performances from all types!) Check out also 'Molly' and 'Rapper'.
Our dances derive from the North-West Morris tradition based mainly around industrial Lancashire and Cheshire. Some are traditional, some our own. In those dances which we have developed ourselves, we have maintained the tradition of naming the dances after the places where they were performed. (Many of them now locations for traffic jams on the M6! - Knutsford, Holmes Chapel etc...) So our dance 'Crabb's Cross', for instance originates from an area of Redditch near to where we practiced for many years.
Morris dancers in the North-West used to accompany a 'Rush Cart' to the village church at the annual 'wakes week', processing through the streets. The team danced along and stopped now and then to do a figure. Because of this, the 'chorus' in North-west dances is frequently called 'up streets'. The dances performed tended to follow the same pattern but the figures, arm movements, etc. would vary.
The music is based around traditional tunes. Often, two,or more tunes are used for a dance. Originally the music would have been provided by local brass bands. Nowadays it is played on a range of instruments including melodeons, concertinas, accordions, fiddles, guitars, and other strings, still an occasional brass instrument, pipes and other woodwind, whilst the rhythm is kept by drums and a variety other 'percussive instruments'!
Our band is small and we would welcome the addition of keen musicians who play any of the appropriate instruments and would enjoy keeping our morris traditions alive.