The style of morris dancing known as 'border' originates mainly from four English counties - Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. The origins of the tradition are lost in the mists of time, but it is quite probable that border morris dancing predates the other styles of morris dancing given that it is arguably more simplistic in its style than the morris dances of the Cotswolds and North West of England.
Border morris dancing was at its height in the 1850's - 1860's and was always performed by men. Each village had its own style of dancing and costume, and dances were developed which were exclusive to a particular village. Border dancers often would black their faces with burnt cork to disguise their identity if they were busking, which was tantamount to begging in the nineteenth century. The dancers were sometimes referred to as 'Not For Joers' and the dancing as 'Not For Joeing' after the popular border dance and tune 'Not For Joe'.
As the twentieth century developed, the popularity of border morris dancing faded. Its revival in the 1970's is mostly due to the influence of John Kirkpatrick and his team 'Shropshire Bedlams', providing the inspiration for modern-day border morris dancing teams throughout the world.
Hot For Joe is an Adelaide-based women's border morris team formed in 1993 by Mary McFadden. The team has developed a highly styled, truly unique form of morris dancing, which essentially emphasises the importance of precise and energetic dancing while at the same time presenting a mysterious, wild and dramatic performance. In both 1995 and 1997, the group was the recipient of a South Australian Folk Federation Award, and were also nominees for a SAMIA (South Australian Music Industry Association) award in both of these years. These accolades have reflected not only the group's growing popularity, but also a renewed respect for this ancient art form.
All of the dance repertoire has been choreographed within the team and some of the tunes used are also originals. When performing in public, Hot For Joe wear a 'kit' which consists of black tunic dresses, black and white striped leggings and black 'Doc Marten' type boots. Bells are worn on the feet, and faces are painted black in a mask-like appearance, just as those of our border-dancing ancestors were. During the warmer months, a more appropriate version of the kit is worn - featuring less layers and more skin!
Since its inception, Hot For Joe have attracted a strong following, and have performed at such events as the Woodford Folk Festival (Qld), the National Folk Festival (Canberra), the Maldon Folk Festival (Vic), the South Australian Folk Festival, South Australian Medieval Fair, the South Australian Tourism Awards, and the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Hot For Joe is an inspiring modern interpretation of an ancient dance tradition.
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With the COVID-19 chaos, we have been forced to postpone all of our upcoming public dancing displays.
Sadly, we have no idea how long the coronavirus crisis will last but we can reasonably assume that most gatherings will be shut down through the Australian winter.
We will be back dancing again as soon as we can but in the meantime, why not check out some of our Videos to get your Morris fix!
Stay safe and look after each other in these most difficult of times.
Hot For Joe xx
If you are interested in joining the side, now is the
Our Contact Details are below, please feel free to get in touch.
To go to Deb's Memorial Page, click HERE
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The English Ale last happened on 4th May 2019 at Mylor Hall and Oval; a wonderful event and probably the biggest yet, featuring Damh the Bard, Cerri Lee and Kristoffer Hughes!
This event, celebrating the folk traditions of England, will return on 16th May 2020!
To visit the Official English Ale Website, click on the banner above
To see some pictures from previous English Ales, click HERE
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This site was last updated by PaulyWorly on 17/03/2020
It never stops...just like a real melodeon