Boekka our Guise team has been through many changes since it first began in 2010. There has been a change in appearance with Teazers wearing masks and then discovering that face blacking for disguise is easier to wear and also traditional for Guise performers. Penkevyll has had two changes of tatters and ribbon colours and now has the traditional Cornish colours of black, white and gold.
We attempted to combine a Morris side with Boekka’s ‘Oss and Teazers as my son our first rider wished to teach a Morris team. We heard from an experienced Morris dancer that when a group has more than 7 members, the group dynamics change and problems occur. We found this to be the case and also discovered it is not easy to recruit Morris dancers in West Cornwall as most local musicians and dancers wish to participate in Cornish traditional performance. Boekka then reverted to ‘Oss and Teazers only and this works well.
We have three riders for Penkevyll the ‘Oss, two are local and the other lives in Reading. The rider who lives the farthest attended Sidmouth festival with his partner and Morris team and after this they continued their journey to Cornwall to visit us. We thought it an ideal opportunity to get two of our riders together for a practice with Penkevyll and the rider with more experience gave the newer rider tips on different ways of moving with the ‘Oss to give her personality and character.
We also took the opportunity to photograph Penkevyll (Cassandra’s ‘Oss) and Morvargh (my ‘Oss) so they could interact.
I had a Teazing rehearsal with Penkevyll. The energy of the ‘Oss is fast and wild and the Teazer needs to blend with this energy using fast, wild and earthy movements. Slow movement with the ‘Oss can still have an edge but needs to be done in a certain way and Cassandra is the only Teazer who has accomplished this judging by the performances I have seen.
This practice coincided with Boekka’s 7th Birthday the day before, so we all had a celebration together with Prosecco and cake.
After practice we spent the evening in our local pub the St Buryan Inn for an evening of music, singing and dancing which the locals and tourists enjoyed. Some of them moved to the public bar to listen and join in with dancing and singing.
A truly wonderful afternoon and evening It is good to now have three riders (as well as my son who rode in the past) who not only respect but understand the spirit of Penkevyll. Boekka is now a small but happy group with good energies. Long may it last.