About this page
Recording of a Morris Federation talk on “Coconut Dancing – more than just a Lancashire tradition” by Peter Bearon held on Zoom on 3 December 2021. The #MorrisFedvideo lasts for 1 hour 8 minutes.
Peter Bearon’s talk compares 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.
The coconut dance tradition from Provence known as ‘Lei Cocot’ or ‘Les Coco’ is then considered. ‘Lei Cocot’ appears to date from the first half of the 19th century. We 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 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 is based on 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”.
Peter 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”.
Published Research and Talks
Abram Morris Dance
Peter had a paper published in the 2021 issue of the EFDSS Folk Music Journal on “The Abram Morris Dance and the Abram Morris Dancers’ Ground”, which this talk is based on.
Coconut Dances in Lancashire, Mallorca, Provence and on the Nineteenth-century Stage
Peter had a paper published by English Folk Dance and Song Society & Historical Dance Society in ‘The Histories of Morris’ following the successful conference held in Cecil Sharp House in 2017. See: https://media.efdss.org/docs/HOM/HOM%20Bearon%20Coconut%20Dances.pdf
He gave a talk on this for the Morris Federation via Zoom on 4 December 2021. The talk included the results of further research. It will be available on the Morris Federation website shortly.
New Year’s Eve Carol Singing in West Lancashire
A talk on this unusual carol singing tradition was given to the Traditional Song Forum (TSF) in November 2022 via Zoom. The talk can be seen as part of the ‘TSF Online 49 6 Nov 22’ on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaEduX43pGE
An essay based on this talk will be published by the TSF in the near future.
Traditional Customs mainly in Europe
Peter has videoed many traditional customs, some in this country, but mainly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These are published unedited on his Vimeo page, warts and all. See: https://vimeo.com/strawbearhunter/collections
- Title: Coconut Dancing – more than just a Lancashire tradition
- Speaker: Peter Bearon
- Facilitator: Pauline Woods-Wilson
- Type: talk
- Date of talk: 8 December 2021
- Date page published: 8 May 2023