Little Egypt Gives Way to Little Spain


Hey, Señor Parry, Your Castanets Are Showing


They've Had It Their Own Way for Long Enough

I am constantly grateful to those who keep me up to date with events in and around Little Egypt.
I publish all that I receive within the limits of the law and Good Taste.
Oh, o.k., the law.

However, when I received the first set of Boxing Days photographs, I was, to say the least, confused by the appearance of this photograph.

"Cross-Dressing Morris" was the first thought to cross my mind.
Jukes' experiences with La Macarena all those years ago come back to haunt us, perhaps.
The BBC experimenting with a relaunch of "Eldorado"?
A rather more academic experiment to link the secrets of the origins of The Morris with the Moriscos of Spain?

But, really, I didn't like to ask ...

And then a series of strange emails began to arrive:

"Don't laugh, (well, you can if you want) but I am going to give Flamenco dancing a try!"

Followed by:

"It would appear that news has escaped you of an event that took place on Boxing Day, outside the Black Lion, that has all the makings of a crowd-puller to rival the Morris Men of Little Egypt, and the Mummers Play!"

"Glemsford has its very own, home-grown Flamenco group, who worked hard during the year, practising every week in the Methodist Church hall to learn the steps, and also make the costumes to put on a vibrant and colourful performance for the village. The group includes a well-known landlady and chef, two receptionists from Glemsford surgery, and the wife of a Little Egyptian."

"Aha!" thought I, "some answers to that mystery which has so perplexed me."
"I must know more. ..."

Exhaustive investigations have revealed the following photographs and explanation, kindly supplied by Jackie Coote.

Glemsford's flamenco class began shortly after I moved from London to Glemsford just over a year ago.
The class meets once a week in the methodist church hall on Thursday evenings and is open to anyone over 16.
None of the people who come had attended a dance class before - let alone done flamenco.
This'll teach the white hanky brigade to try and be funny
They soon became completely hooked and have worked hard over the last year to learn 'The Sevillanas' - a dance known throughout southern Spain and performed by both young and old at public festivals.
Last summer someone ( naming no names - but we all think it was Mary) suggested that we could give the Morris men a run for their money.
If that idiot says 'Give us a twirl' once more I'll deck 'im
This was initially said as a joke, but the more we thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea to work towards doing a performance at the Black Lion on Boxing Day.
As the day drew closer, various other skills were being applied so that colourful costumes were created to give the performance a more authentic flamenco flavour.
By the time Boxing Day arrived, Lynn, Sharon, Jackie, Jean, Barbara and Mary were ready to make their first public appearance.
Jukes! Come swivel on this ...
My rule for the day was ENJOY YOURSELVES!
They certainly did that, and judging by the round of applause they got at the end, were also very much appreciated by the crowd.
Who's that idiot with a bobble hat and a spray can?
Several newcomers have swelled the numbers in the new year (and more are welcome) and we are already working on next year's 'repertoire'.
There is now a small part of Glemsford known as 'Little Spain'!

See? Easier than 'Fanny Frail' any day

As someone once said: "Splendid, absolutely splendid." A challenge to the terpsichoreal pre-eminence of Little Egypt was just what was wanted.
I have every confidence that The Men will rise to the challenge.
If not, the Ladies are ready to take your place.

Little Egypt's Boxing Day

The Origins of the Tradition

Preparing to Dance: The Ritual

The Dancing

The Music

The Unmentionables

Mumming 2004/5

Morris Index


© Steve Clarke 10 January 2005. 09 November 2005