About Armaleggan

Armaleggan in the 'hood

Armaleggan is a Border Morris side with added Grrr…

We’re a mixed side – mixed genders, mixed ages, a mixture of tradition and innovation, and do not mind mixing our drinks.

We practice at Cumnor Village Hall just outside Oxford, and dance all over Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds and beyond.

Armaleggan is a fun side to watch and a fun side to be a part of. Try it and see.

Whenever we dance out we get asked a lot of questions. Here are answers to the ones that keep cropping up…

Why don’t you wear white and wave hankies about?
That’s Cotswold morris, the style that’s traditionally danced in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and other places in central and southern England.

So if it’s not Cotswold, is it Morris dancing?
Yes. This style of Morris is called Border Morris. It was traditionally danced in Herefordshire and Shropshire – the counties at the northern end of the Welsh borders. Cotswold Morris is athletic and sometimes elegant. Border is more rough and ready but has a lot more ‘oomph’.

Why do you look… like that?
Nobody really knows, but the most popular theory on the facepaint is that when labourers went out dancing in the hope of earning some beer money they used soot to darken their faces so nobody would recognise them – especially not the boss.

The tatters are probably an inventive way of making a costume out of old clothes – but they also do a fine job of emphasising the spinning parts of the dance.

Top hats are what men generally wore in the nineteenth century. Decorating the hat makes you taller, and we hope a little scarier.

Why are you called Armaleggan?
Pick one of the following:
1. it sounds like Armageddon
2. we have arms and legs
3. both of the above.

Would you like a beer?
Yes please.


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