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Encyclopedia > Molly dance

Molly dancing is a form of English Morris dance, traditionally done by out of work ploughboys in midwinter in the 19th century. A Morris dance is a form of folk dance. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


History

Molly dancers have been recorded in many parts of the English Midlands and East Anglia. It died out finally in the 1930s, the last dancers seen dancing in Littleport near Ely, in 1934(?). The midlands of a territory are its central regions. ... Norfolk and Suffolk, the core area of East Anglia. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Littleport is a small town in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England, north of Ely and north west of Welney. ... There are other places also called Ely. ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The only recorded Molly dances come from Comberton and Girton, villages just outside Cambridge, researched by Russell Wortley and Cyril Papworth. Map of the Cambridgeshire area (1904) The city of Cambridge is an old English university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire. ...


Traditions

Molly dancing is most associated with Plough Monday, the first Monday after Epiphany. Tradition has it that as a way of filling the gap between Christmas and the start of the Spring ploughing season, the ploughboys would tour around the village landowners, offering to dance for money. Those who refused would be penalised in various ways (see Trick_or_treat) including having a furrow ploughed across the offender's lawn. Plough Monday is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. ... Epiphany (Greek: επιφάνεια, the appearance; miraculous phenomenon) is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the shining forth or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. ... Trick-or-treating, also known as Guising, is an activity for children on Halloween in which they proceed from house to house, asking for treats such as candy with the question, Trick or treat? Trick-or-treating is done in costume and is one of the main traditions of Halloween. ...


The dancers, wishing to gain employment from those same landowners shortly afterwards, would attempt to conceal their identities by blacking their faces with soot and dressing up in a modified version of their Sunday Best, typically black garments adorned with coloured scarves and other fripperies. It was originally an all-male tradition but with one of the members - the Molly - dressed up as a woman.


The Modern Tradition

Molly dancing was recreated by the Cambridge Morris Men in the 1950s, and the Morris dance revival of the 70s saw the creation of many new sides, now usually involving both men and women. // Events and trends The 1950s in Western society was marked with a sharp rise in the economy for the first time in almost 30 years and return to the 1920s-type consumer society built on credit and boom-times, as well as the the baby boom from returning GIs who... A Morris dance is a form of folk dance. ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ...


Modern Molly Dancing demonstrates the clearest distinction between "re-enactment of tradition" and "modern interpretation of tradition" of modern morris dancing. Elaine Bradtke wrote a PhD thesis on the inherent post modernism of the Seven Champions - one of the first and best examples of Modern Molly dance. Many other teams have developed Molly inspired by the unhistorical but very effective military formations of Seven Champions (eg Ouse Washes, Gog Magog, Handsome Molly in New Jersey) whilst others have taken it in new directions - equally unhistorical but at their best equally effective in very different ways - eg Norwich Shit Witches (now renamed Kit Witches), Pig Dyke Molly. The Seven Champions of Christendom, by Richard Johnson, printed in 1608, relates the heroic adventures of seven saints, including St George, as they battle dragons and pagans while defending the honor of young maidens. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Molly dance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (315 words)
Molly dancing is a form of English Morris dance, traditionally done by out of work ploughboys in midwinter in the 19th century.
Molly dancers have been recorded in many parts of the English Midlands and East Anglia.It died out finally in the 1930s, the last dancers seen dancing in Littleport near Ely, in 1934(?).
Molly dancing was recreated by the Cambridge Morris Men in the 1950s, and the Morris dance revival of the 70s saw the creation of many new sides, now usually involving both men and women.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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