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EFDSS: Time’s up for blacking up

Alton Morris by Dorset Morri'arty Photography
Alton Morris by Dorset Morri’arty Photography

The article Time’s up for blacking up was published in the EFDSS magazine: English Dance and Song Autumn 2020.

It includes the JMO statement on full-face black makeup and a statement from The Morris Federation on their process, then an extract from a letter from the DCMS:

EFDSS says: “In a letter to us dated 21 November 2019, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport wrote ‘we believe that those participating should take into consideration the potential for this practice to cause offence’.”

It ends up with an explanation from Paddington Pandemonic Express Urban Molly Dancers about why they changed away from full face black makeup over 30 years ago, the final quote being:

“It’s fascinating to watch today’s folk dancers going through the same quandaries and arguments. I hope that those still using black face makeup will see that changing colour is an easy fix – to continue being true to tradition, whilst also being inclusive.”

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