Mr Baker’s Dozen meandered into existence some time in the late nineties, brainchild of its founder and perpetual Squire, Mr Baker himself.
Mr Baker’s Dozen is a traditional English dance side from the Isle of Wight, mostly consisting of couples who already dance in the Men of Wight or the Oyster Girls. This has led to some rather hectic festivals with many costume changes. So far, none of them have stood up to dance wearing the wrong costume, but that day will possibly come.
From the start, the side’s mission statement was to do all those things that the other dance sides on the island didn’t do. The Men of Wight do Cotswold; the Oyster Girls and Wight Bells do North-west; The Island Cloggies do cloggy things. So Mr Baker’s Dozen is there to step in the breach and handle everything else.
The first adventure of Mr Baker’s Dozen, back before they even acquired that name, was to be the entertainment between courses at a Christmas dinner at the local College. As well as dances, they performed songs, poems etc. They also still keep up that “Folk Cabaret” tradition, performing a Mummers’ Play every year on the Sunday nearest St George’s Day, and at a few other occasions during the year, when they can be bothered to carry swords, armour, horses, crowns, brooms, funnels, syringes, scimitars, coconuts, ketchup etc.
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