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2016_05_01_may_day_morris

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01/05/16<br />
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At the break of dawn, with the weather forecast promising a much warmer week ahead, the sun rises on a group of Border Morris Dancers celebrating May Day with a traditional performance, Dance up the Dawn, on top of Windgather Rocks, a gritstone crag near Whaley Bridge on the Derbyshire - Cheshire Peak District border.<br />
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The Powderkegs, a group of 16 dancers, paint their faces black, wear rag jackets and jingle bells on their legs.<br />
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The group formed in 2001, and took their name from local gunpowder mills.<br />
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Their traditional style of dance is noisy, colourful and explosive.<br />
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The dancers and musicians, both men and women, wear red, yellow, gold and orange rag jackets and trousers to signify fire and explosions. <br />
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A selection of sparkly materials adds to the  flame effect when they dance.<br />
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It is believed that the Border Morris Dancers’ costume dates back to the time of tied workers, in the early 19th century, when extra money could be made at fairs dancing and playing music. <br />
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The workers would be evicted if caught by the squire so they used materials close to hand - rags and coal dust to disguise themselves. <br />
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