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Talk – “Coconut Dancing – more than just a Lancashire tradition” – Peter Bearon (LIVE on Zoom)

Talk – “Coconut Dancing – more than just a Lancashire tradition” – Peter Bearon

Peter Bearon’s talk will compare the coconut dance tradition in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire with that of Els Moretons in Manacor, Mallorca. Both traditions are likely to have originated during the 1850s.

Cocoa Nut Dance tuneThe coconut dance tradition from Provence known as ‘Lei Cocot’ or ‘Les Coco’ will then be considered. ‘Lei Cocot’ appears to date from the first half of the 19th century.  We will then look at the development of coconut dancing on the 19th century stage and the possible transmission of the dance from stage to street.

Finally, we will look at the tune generally known as the Rochdale Coconut Dance and the tune used by Els Moretons and compare them both with a tune simply called Cocoa Nut Dance published in tune collections in the 1830s/1840s.

This talk on Coconut Dancing will be based on the one he gave at “The Histories of the Morris in Britain” conference in 2017 on “Coconut Dances in Lancashire, Mallorca, Provence and on the Nineteenth Century Stage”.

Presentation for approx 1 hour 10 mins, then 20 mins for Q&A.

Please Note: This talk will include images of performers wearing full face black makeup, and are not intended to cause offence, but are there for historical context.  This talk will not cover arguments for/against the wearing of full face black makeup, and we kindly ask that this question is not raised/discussed in the Q&A.

Your host

Moretons picturePeter Bearon has been a morris dancer since 1972.  He was a founder member of The Rumworth Morris in 1976.  He currently plays melodeon for The Rumworth Morris, Handsworth Traditional Sword Dancers and The Lymm Morris.  Once a year he is to be found in normal times either playing or dancing for The Abram Morris Dancers.

Peter has a paper published in the 2020 issue of the EFDSS Folk Music Journal on “The Abram Morris Dance and the Abram Morris Dancers’ Ground”.


To register

Please complete this online form: Register for the Talk – Coconut Dancing – more than just a Lancashire tradition; you will receive a confirmation email immediately (check your spam/junk/promotions folder!).  We will send you a Zoom link a couple of days before the event.  Open to all – you don’t have to be a member of a team in The Morris Federation.

Optional Donations

If you enjoy this event, then it would be wonderful if you could send a donation, small or large, to either or both of these charities helping the homeless in Chorley: and in Manchester:

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