The Hong Kong Morris (Chinese: 香港古代英國舞 團, Cantonese pronunciation: Heung Gong
Gwoo Doi Ying Gwok Mo Tuen, literally Hong Kong Ancient English Dance Platoon) is an
English morris dancing side founded in Hong Kong in 1974. The side now has two chapters, the Hong Kong Morris in Hong Kong
and the Hong Kong (UK) Morris, colloquially known as The Brackets, in the United Kingdom. In its heyday, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Hong Kong Morris was one of the largest Cotswold morris sides in the world. The side is committed to the principles of multiculturalism and inclusivity, and has always encouraged a multinational membership and mixed dancing. The return of the former British colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997 has had no effect on its activities, and it continues to flourish as a notable example of the resilience of British culture in postcolonial Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Morris attracted its first women members in the late 1970s, at a time when there was considerable opposition to women’s morris dancing in the United Kingdom. Women and men have always danced together in the Hong Kong Morris, either in mixed sets or in separate sets. By the mid-1980s the side’s growing numbers enabled strong men’s and women’s sets to develop, and each set began to specialise in certain Cotswold traditions, while retaining a large common core of dances for mixed dancing. The Hong Kong Morris was briefly a member side of the Morris Ring, but was asked to leave the Ring because of its inclusive policy on women’s dancing. It is now a member side of the Morris Federation. Two of its members, John Bacon and Chris Butler/Hall, have played an influential role respectively in the development of the policies of the Morris Federation and Open Morris, two organisations in the United Kingdom committed to the principle of mixed dancing.
The side has always welcomed dancers and musicians of all nationalities. Although most of its
The Hong Kong Morris is registered under the Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151 of the Laws of Hong Kong), a local ordinance introduced by the Hong Kong Government to counter the threat of subversion. The ordinance allows the government to monitor the activities of political parties, pressure groups and other potentially-undesirable combinations, and under its provisions the side is required to furnish the government every year with copies of its accounts and the minutes of its annual general meeting.
As with many other morris sides, the officers of the Hong Kong Morris include a squire (president), a bagman (treasurer), a foreman (dance teacher) and a social secretary.
Regular training is currently in abeyance, however the usual rhythm is to train one evening every fortnight at an accessible location on Hong Kong Island.
Read more about the mission of the Hong Kong Morris here.