The Mark Jones Day of Dance, organised by The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers, takes place every January in and around Ely, attracting Molly Dancers from around the UK, and in 2021 it will be going virtual.
It will feature new dances, dances adapted for social distancing, a broom dance competition with celebrity judges and a live public vote, some archive material and a few fun special features. The event will be live streamed via Spotted in Ely using streaming technology from Spotted in Studios on Saturday January 30th from 11am.
What had previously been the Ely Day of Dance became the Mark Jones Day of Dance in 2006, to commentate a young traditional dancer tragically killed in a car accident.
Lynda Stoney, Artistic Director for the virtual day of dance, says “This promises to be one of the best online traditional dance events of these strange times, with contributions from around the UK and overseas as well. We already have lots of interest, and we want as many people as possible to join in and help us raise money for our chosen charity, Help Musicians UK”.
The broom dance competition judges will include melodeon player extraordinaire, and ubiquitous folk band member, Simon Care. Radio folk show presenter Sue Marchant and founder member of Ouse Washes Molly Dancers, Gordon Phillips.
Molly dancing is a form of traditional dance particularly associated with East Anglia and The Fens. It’s origins go back many hundreds of years, and are strongly connected with the agricultural traditions of Plough Monday.
Molly Dancing died out in the 1930’s but was revived in the late 1970’s and a new tradition was established. This was popularised by a number of dance sides, including Ouse Washes Molly Dancers.
Press release from The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers