Morris dance is experiencing questionable progress within contemporary culture. With generational gaps, geo-political uprising, and multiple issues facing young people in a tough and turbulent international world, the future of Morris dance can seem dire and grim. Neopaganism, is one avenue through which Morris dance has an opportunity to survive. Neopaganism appeals to younger persons because of its meaningful archival of living histories and openings of participatorydramaturgy in a sense of unfolding evolutionary progress of culture. Its distinctive academic flare merged with the often gritty underworlds and lower class experiences are ripe and fertile grounds for expressing anarchic and youth disconnect with contemporary cultures will providing cultural creation beyond deconstructionism.
In a crisis of meaning and direction, the old ways of reliance upon the land and the values of country living are rived through Neopaganism. Its “new” aspect is that it is also educationally integrated, which is a distinct departure from the mass illiteracy that was part of the evolution of Morris dance in its regional expression in England.
Neopaganism helps paint a picture of an evolving English historical culture that speaks to the relevance of cultural archival with the evolution of the soul within a modern world. The shifts and gateways modern personalities must go through necessitate that the interrogations of tradition and the family rifts between generations are embodied in manners that authentically commemorate the truth of original cultural practices in ways that are politically and emotionally relevant.
Within Neopaganism, conceptions of the hunt and the harvest, as well as seasonal celebrations and local economic sustainability are part of the social expression of the diverse array of inner cultural expressions of what subgroups and cultures find sacred, meaningful, and psycho-spiritually sustainable.
Towards that aim, Morris dance is often utilized within these subgroups and cultures to point to the deeper significance of harvest and hunt dances, and the psychological and historical embodiment of ancestral memory deeply connected with ways of seeing land, language, culture, and economy as expression of deriving meaning and sense from within living and animistic ideals of nature and its impact on the evolution, stability, turbulence, revival, and change within culture.
Contemporary Neopaganism utilization of Morris dance in England is carried on by a few sub-cultural groups who incorporate Morris dancing into ancestral celebrations of English culture. These commemorations are often densely liturgical and in some cases substantially academic, yet offer a means of integrating layers of nuanced historical experiences in a theatrical manner that support individuals in understanding their cultural heritage from primal, embodied, and biological drives as well as through various models of human ways of seeing through ladders of developmental consciousness.
Arguably, this is an important endeavor that can and is substantiated with literacy, performative, and artistic rationale and justification. The cultural significance of multigenerational ways of maintaining familiarity while interrogating and investigating ways of making sense of contemporary social and psycho-spiritual issues, suggests that the Neopagan continuation of Morris dance offers a unique manner of engagement to the English populace that decenters class and centers deeper narratives of human becoming while focusing on human ways of being in the past in their grit, grim, glory, and ways of subsistence.
Remarkably, this combination of interconnected drives and relationships positions Neopagan commemorations and utilization of Morris dance as a means through which English culture can create sense of the culture, spiritual, and psychological relationships that have influenced its origins and development throughout the course of six major centuries of expansion, change, and global identity development. While Neopaganism remains relatively silent outside of the inner circles, once festival visibility, and in scholastic realms and chambers, it is a notable storage avenue for the layered and multilevel nuances for maintaining and revival cultural memory in the form of various expression of Morris dance.