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Molly Dancing

The Molly dancing that we see today originated in the East Anglian region of Britain, although it is now danced in other areas too. It was performed by men dressed in embellished working clothes, often with one man dressed as a woman - The Molly. The dancers used some sort of disguise, either masks or darkening their faces with soot. Molly dances were usually performed in winter time when the farm workers were out of work, on days such as Plough Monday. The participants looked at it as an opportunity to raise some cash, and sometimes threatened to cause property damage if they did not receive largess, hence the need for disguise. The choreography was based on local social dances - dances everyone knew, making extensive rehearsal unnecessary. The form was revived in the late nineteen seventies and has evolved to include brightly coloured costumes, more complex choreography, face paint of varying designs and colours, and gender-blurring cross dressing for men and women in the mixed sex groups.

Some of the best known performers are: [1] The Seven Champions [2] Ouse Washes Molly [3] Gog Magog Molly [4] Pig Dyke Molly