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East Suffolk Morris Men in Malta this weekend 18/02/2009

The East Suffolk Morris Men (ESMM), a group of 23 British traditional folk dancers, will be performing in various outlets in Malta and Gozo this weekend.

The Morris Men are based around the Ipswich area in East Anglia, UK and mainly dance the Cotswold traditions of English Morris Dance along with the dances from the Welsh borders around Christmas.

The group was set up in 1958 when members of the thriving Ipswich Folk Dance Club decided to form their own niche group. Their first show was at Baylam Village Hall that year. In the early days ESMM and the Ipswich FDC often performed jointly at events around Suffolk.

In the cold winter season the dancers adopt a costume of tattered coats to dance to the Welsh Border Dances. Similar to the traditions of the North West Clog dancers, they also use black make-up on their faces to "disguise" themselves, a ritual which was adopted in the past when employers were not keen on their men dancing in public.

Sponsored by Hopleaf and Blue Label, the Morris Men will be performing at the Metropole Hotel in St Julian’s on Thursday, 19th February from 7pm onwards.

The following day, 20th February, they will be performing in Gozo, entertaining patrons at Café San George, Palazzo Antonin and Café Jubilee in Victoria.  They will be at Ta’ Nona and Moby Dick in Xlendi from 1.30pm, and in the evening, they will be at Rabok and the Nadur Football Club in Nadur from 6pm onwards.

On Saturday, 21st February, performances start at 11am at the Upper Barakka in Valletta. The group will move on to the Imperial B.C. and La Vittoria B.C. in Mellieha at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, 22nd February, they will be performing at Mirabelle, Villa Mare, Pizza Hut and Caesars in Bugibba from 11am onwards. At 6pm they will conclude their performances at St Lawrence B.C., The Centre and Victory Bar in Birgu.