Dancing for All - Molly Dance Workshops with Milkmaid Molly

 

Molly Dance Workshops for Milkmaid Molly Buddies

with Alison Giles from the Cambridge Molly side  Gog Magog

 October 18th, November 22nd and December 14th from 7.30 to 9.30pm

Risbygate Sports Club, Westley Road, Bury St Edmunds. IP33 3RR

The workshops are for any Buddies or potential Buddies who would like to learn new dances or anyone who would like to give Molly dance a go. All are welcome to come along and learn this local tradition.

 Information from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Gill on 01284 767476.

 

Gog Magog dancing in Ely on Mark Jones Day January 2018

About Milkmaid Molly

Nearly seven years ago, in January 2012, a new Morris dancing side was launched in Bury St Edmunds which filled a gap in the Morris dance family in West Suffolk.  At the time there was a good representation of the dances of the west and northwest of England with Bury Fair and Hageneth dancing the hankies and sticks dances of the Cotswold; Haughley Hoofers, with their clogs, dancing Northwest and Green Dragon’s boisterous stick-wielding Border dance.  The plan was to create a side with a different tradition to avoid standing on the toes of these well-established West Suffolk dancers. So Molly dancing was the choice, Molly being the tradition closest to home, the tradition coming out from the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Gill Bosley and Graham leading the Milkmaid Molly procession at Ely Festival

But there was another difference, this was to be a side that was inclusive: to involve people with disabilities, to have regular dance practices to learn dances and to socialise and to be able to perform alongside other Morris sides, in other words, to enjoy the whole Morris experience.  

Milkmaid Molly (named from the well-known Milkmaid Folk Club) has a membership of 12 Mollies who have learning difficulties and an equal number of Buddies who dance or play with them. Dances are chosen or created to enable all the Mollies to fully participate. The Buddies also learn more complex dances and when these are performed the Mollies provide the instrumental accompaniment with the musicians. A generous donation of £50 from the line-dance group of a previous Buddy was used to purchase more instruments which were given their first airing on 23rd September at the Bury Hub Fest in Hollow Road.

Milkmaid Molly now have regular bookings to dance every year at Ely Folk Festival and Euston Rural Pastimes and may have been spotted amongst the Morris throng dancing in Bury town centre on Green Dragon’s 25th anniversary celebration in September 2018.

Gill Bosley

Milkmaid Molly

17th October 2018

 

 

Clodagh Chapman remembered

Clodagh Chapman who was an original member of Bury Fair (founded in 1977, but originally part of Hageneth Morris) and a founder member of the Haughley Hoofers died in June.  Her funeral will be at the Bury St Edmunds Crematorium in Risby at 9am on Monday 2nd July 2018.  Colourful clothes and Morris kit should be worn to celebrate her 95years.

Clodagh (back right) with Bury Fair in 1981

(photo from the East Anglian Daily Times December 2010)

I have known Clodagh since her days with Bury Fair and in 2014 I wrote the piece below for the Mardles Magazine and re-publish it today in her memory.  She is the only person I know who created a dance and an embryonic “tradition”.  Like many new dances some worked and some didn’t but Clodagh had one big “hit”; Fires of August which is still being danced today by people who have never heard of Clodagh Chapman.  The Suffolk Weaver is still also danced by Bury Fair but has not been picked up by other sides as much.

I saw “Fires of August” (in the “Buxhall tradition”) performed four days after she died, not in her memory; no-one dancing it knew she had died.  It was danced because it is a good dance (a bit like Brighton Camp, Stanton Harcourt) and can be made into an entertaining race between musicians and dancers.  Few who dance it will know that it was written by Clodagh in the 1980s.  It was originally performed by Bury Fair but has migrated to Little Egypt Morris Men and Westrafelda and maybe others besides.  Hageneth practiced it and I remember performing it once on the Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds.  Unfortunately we never mastered it and it disappeared from our programme.  You really need to go to the Little Egypt summer solstice event to see it danced with enthusiasm and at a pace which always impresses the audience.

“It’s not just skipping around waving handkerchiefs”- Clodagh Chapman remembers creating dances.

From Mardles Magazine September 2014 

Read more: Clodagh Chapman remembered

Maypole Re-mixed

 
 
 
Breaking News; - deadline of 11th May extended by EFDSS following Mardles appeal
"I will definitely extend the deadline for applications - we don't want anyone to miss the opportunity.  We really hope we can get a number of young folk dancers to be part of this project". Cassie Tait, Education Manager, English Folk Dance and Song Society

Call for young dancers: Maypole Remixed outdoor dance event

Mardles.org has just received this call for young dancers to appear in Ipswich on 14th July. You can apply as a dance group, or an individual, by completing the expression of interest form on the website by Friday 11 May.  The press release from EFDSS was only released on 25th April and invites young dancers (12 -19 years or up to 25 years for dancers with special needs) to perform as part of the U.Dance 2018 annual dance festival. 

U.Dance 2018

The dancers will perform a new dance work centred on a maypole created by Folk Dance Remixed.  Maypole Remixed will celebrate some of the old and new dance and music cultural heritages to be found in the region - fusing traditional folk dance styles from the East of England with contemporary hip hop dance and especially commissioned recorded and live music.
 
To be included dancers must commit to attending all the rehearsal and performance dates below. Travel bursaries are available.
 
There will be three creative workshops and rehearsals with professional dancers and live musicians, leading to two outdoor performances on Saturday 14 July as part of the U.Dance 2018 festival. 

Rehearsals

Sunday, 24 June, 1 July and 8 July
10.30am–4.30pm (tbc)
Chantry Academy, Mallard Way, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 9LR

Performances

Saturday 14 July
The Waterfront and one other outdoor location in Ipswich, times tbc
 
For more information please contact the webpage and online form for applications to the project.
 
Direct link to form:
 
Dave Evans
9th May 2018
 
 
 

Oxblood Molly Day of Dance 17th March 2018

The Beast from the East was back!  Russian snow!  Just the weather for a day of dance!  There is a saying in Suffolk that “there’s nothing between us and the Urals”.  For once local lore and the Met Office agreed: the sun was not to shine on Oxblood Molly’s 4th Day of Dance in Halesworth.

Oxblood Molly (photo John Heaser)

Read more: Oxblood Molly Day of Dance 17th March 2018

MORRIS SHORTS - Brief news from the world of Morris

The Dancing Out Season Starts Soon

As the "Beast from the East" goes back home (Russia is suspected!) and we are promised warm weather next week here's a timely reminder from Giles that the Morris dancing summer season will be starting soon.  Hageneth and loads of other sides will be at Hundon, near Haverhill, for the 10th anniversary of the Belchamp MM event on 22nd April. 

Let's hope it's not raining; remember, "it never rains on the Morris!"

The merry month of Maying...With a fa, la, la... and a fa, la, la... And in three weeks' time, the nights

 Dave Evans - with thanks to Brian Francis of Hageneth who found this old Giles cartoon, probably from The Daily Express

 

HOLT RIDGE MORRIS (Mixed Cotswold) have moved and now (12th April 2018) practice on a Monday evening (8-10pm) at Marsham Village Hall except on the second Monday of the month when they can be found at Aylesham Village Hall. Contact: Mick Selvey 01953 882453 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Evans (info from Jill Parson)

 

Halesworth Day of Dance; Oxblood tames the mini Beast from the East

 

The wonderfully warm Rifle Hall, Halesworth

Congratulations to Oxblood Molly for planning ahead and managing to put on a successful day of dance despite the return of snow and below zero temperatures.  Oxblood correctly anticipated that nobody would want to dance outside, especially as there would be no audience.  At the last minute they managed to book a warm indoor venue and the 14 sides that braved the weather were rewarded with dancing in the warmth of the Rifle Hall in Halesworth.  10 sides had to drop out as the snow had made some roads in Essex impassable.

(For a full report see Gill's article on Oxblood Molly Day of Dance 17th March 2018)

Dave Evans

 

Weavers Morris - All Up  

Mick Wade of Weavers Morris contacted Mardles to let us know that "due to membership problems" Weavers Morris a mixed Cotswold side based in North Walsham has decided to wind-up.  They were founded in 1995 and have been regular visitors to the famous Lobster Pottie festival in Sheringham.  They had an active programme until last year and danced at various village events in North Norfolk, including the Mundesley Lifeboat Day.  They have been good fund-raisers for local charities including for "Nelson's Journey" which supports children and young people that have experienced the death of a significant person in their life.  As far as is known no collection has been organised for Weavers Morris!

 

 

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