Chance to see Molly dancers

PUBLISHED: 17:37 08 August 2007 | UPDATED: 12:43 04 May 2010

The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers

The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers

ANYONE who is out and about in Ely on Sunday will have the chance to see the Ouse Washes Molly Dancers. The dancers, part of the Vital Communities group, will visit Ely, Trumpington, Fulbourn Ely and Sutton, as part of a summer tour. Project manager Susa

ANYONE who is out and about in Ely on Sunday will have the chance to see the Ouse Washes Molly Dancers. The dancers, part of the Vital Communities group, will visit Ely, Trumpington, Fulbourn Ely and Sutton, as part of a summer tour.

Project manager Susan Potter said: "Our first Molly Dancing weekend went brilliantly with people of all ages from three to 93 sharing in the free entertainment. Last time, we visited St Neots, Ramsey, Peterborough and Wishbech and people in all places responded with lively and appreciative audiences. We are now really looking forward to our second weekend tour. It is a great way to find out more about our cultural heritage and get fit at the same time. We hope even more people will support us this weekend and join in the fun."

The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers are a throw-back to times past when the dance glorified local characters and reflected the windy wilderness of the Fen. Ploughboys traditionally performed their own distinctive East Anglian dance when they were unable to working during the frosts.

On plough Monday, which is the second Monday in January, they would drag a plough around the villages and dance while collecting money for beer and food.

Some of the ploughboys blackened their faces so that they wouldn't be recognised afterwards. The dances they performed were either country dances or a stylised interpretation of them and they became the forerunner of molly dancing as we know it today.

INFO: The molly dancers will be on the Market Square in from 11am and outside the Brooklands Centre in Sutton from 4pm.

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