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Running the Goat
December 26, 2009 2:19 PM   Subscribe

In 2002 the tiny Newfoundland fishing village of Harbour Deep shut down. It was never able to survive the 1992 closure of the in-shore cod fishery. But the 350 year old history and spirit of the village has survived in the form of a dance called Running the Goat. In a brilliant radio documentary (link is an .m3u), Chris Brooks captures the stories and the sentiments about the dance and what it means for traditional culture in Newfoundland.

For more on Harbour Deep, check Chris Brooks' other bits of audio, called A Map of the Sea.

(And to listen to more of this brilliance, Battery Radio has their top 10 documentaries online)
posted by salishsea (12 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
They got very lucky with the government handout.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:36 PM on December 26, 2009


It's actually Chris Brookes. I love his work. And he's a really lovely person, too.
posted by munichmaiden at 3:45 PM on December 26, 2009


Harbor Deep? Wasn't that where King Théoden and the Rohirrim fought the Battle of the Hornburg?
posted by signalnine at 4:33 PM on December 26, 2009


M3U files are just playlists of MP3 files. Open in Notepad to get MP3 file for download:

http://www.batteryradio.com/Media/mp3s/Goatfix.mp3

File is 22.6 MB in size, and looks to be about 23 minutes long.
posted by intermod at 4:40 PM on December 26, 2009


.
posted by Bovine Love at 4:55 PM on December 26, 2009


Ack...thanks for the corrections to Chris' name and the better link.
posted by salishsea at 5:35 PM on December 26, 2009


This story reminds me of La grande séduction
posted by bigmusic at 5:44 PM on December 26, 2009


Video of Running the Goat being danced. It is, indeed, wonderfully and ridiculously complicated. The dancers are clearly amateurs and get things mixed up quite a few times, but a good time is had by all.
posted by Kattullus at 9:46 PM on December 26, 2009


You do realize that doing some random dances and then telling mainlanders it is a traditional dance would be pretty much standard practice in Newfoundland? They have a fine tradition of stories, etc. to tall mainlanders as if they were real. Salt water rabbits are one of my favourites. Sometimes the punchline will reveal the joke (wild baloney stories typically end with "you know you got a good one why you peel off the fur and it says Maple Leaf") but often as not it is left as is. Story telling is fabulous there, but I wouldn't believe 'em all.

OTOH, they do love to dance.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:13 AM on December 27, 2009


I have a feeling that if this was made up to fool mainlanders (and as a citizen of another island nation I understand the impulse all too well) then "the cartwheel" would actually have involved doing cartwheels.
posted by Kattullus at 8:27 AM on December 27, 2009


You do realize that doing some random dances and then telling mainlanders it is a traditional dance would be pretty much standard practice in Newfoundland?

Yes I do. And also Newfoundland actually has an important traditional culture that many mainlanders never see which is what makes Brookes' work brilliant.
posted by salishsea at 9:26 AM on December 27, 2009


Story telling is fabulous there, but I wouldn't believe 'em all.

That's kind of the point. With oral tradition, you'll never hear the same story twice.

I live in downtown St. John's and the arts community here kicks ass, thanks in part to people like Chris Brookes and all the visual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, actors, and academics who taught us not just to document these things, but to celebrate them. And yes, he is a very nice man.
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:33 AM on December 27, 2009


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