The Bassett Street Hounds, based in Syracuse, is central New York's finest mixed border morris team, performing the morris since 1985. Aaarooo!
Although originally formed as a Cotswold morris team, the Hounds now exclusively perform an exuberant and energetic form of traditional dancing known as “Border Morris,” that originated in the counties of England bordering Wales: Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire.
Whereas the more familiar Cotswold Morris dances, that come from Gloustershire and Oxfordshire, are fairly close to their traditional village counterparts, the border dances we perform are “creatively remembered”; that is they would have been traditional if we hadn't made them up.
Our name, derived from the location of our original practice site and indicative of our incorrigible punning tendencies, is reflected in our use of dogwood sticks (with bark) and our tendency to howl at the drop of a garish floral cabbie cap.
Our costume, or “kit” as we call it, consists of white trousers, white shirt, black shoes, ribbon-covered bell pads tied below the knees, afore-mentioned floral print cabbie cap, and, most distinctively, a nearly knee-length white coat covered with hundreds of raggedty ribbons. This kit is based on costumes worn by traditional border morris teams.
Look for us; we dance almost all year round, performing locally at community events and further afield at dance and morris events throughout the northeast. Each year we celebrate May Day by dancing at dawn in Thornden Park. Yes, dawn. We host our own annual event, The Dog Days Ale, which is been attended by teams from all over northeastern United States and Canada.
If we're not dancing you can catch us at practice on Monday evenings at 7:00. We are happy to have visitors. Read our brochure for more information on border morris. Contact us for booking the Hounds for an event or for more information.