Open Morris Member Sides

Beltane Border Morris

Region: West/South West

Website: Beltane Border

Composition: Mixed
Dance Styles: Border
Practice Night: Thursday weekly between October and April inclusive
Practice Location: TQ13 0LS

Contact Details

Elizabeth Wozniak

Beltane Border began as a women only side in 2000 under the name of ‘Iron Maidens’ with the prime aim of dancing with attitude with black tatters and fishnets and hints of heavy rock breaking the stereotypical image of morris. After a year they reluctantly allowed men in to become Beltane.

Initially dancing a mostly traditional border repertoire just three are now retained: Dilwyn, Brimfield and White Ladies Aston.  Inspired by earth elements of fire, earth, water and air and dramatic rocky tors of the nearby wild open moorland of Dartmoor some 15 new dances have been created by members and through side workshops strongly influenced by the folklore and ancient monuments of the moor, many featuring rebellious women and their conflict with men.

Beltane retain a feathered part facial disguise of black mixed with blues and greens resembling corvids and further conceal their identity with top hats and tatter coats. Beltane are well known for their confident sticking and powerful and graceful motion interspersed with earth shattering cries, and accompanying haunting fiddle and recorder melodies and ever present drumming add real mystery and atmosphere to their style. Fire torches are also used on special occasions. An annual winter wassail, mummers play on St Georges Day and dawn dance on May Day are popular annual events.