Dancing in the spring

This week’s photograph comes from Garland Day, Lewes’s annual celebration of May Day and the coming of spring (yes, more photos about spring). The day is hosted by The Knots of May, a longstanding local female Morris troop. It is an exuberant event, bursting with flowers, music and dancing. The day starts at Lewes Castle, where The Knots of May and The Long Man Morris Men perform in the Gun Garden, before forming a procession that wends its way down the High Street. The dancers are surrounded by local children who have covered themselves, and various hand-held structures, with greenery and blossoms as part of a garland competition. Both boys and girls participate, creating some very inventive designs.

The one catch this year was that, this being spring in England, the day turned out to be cold, grey and drizzly. Luckily the children (dressed in winter coats under their flowers) seemed oblivious, as did the dancers. The musicians were protected by umbrellas and plastic ponchos, and the spectators didn’t seem to mind too much. I was secretly pleased because I knew the rain would turn the road into a beautiful, glistening, reflective surface, far preferable to me than the difficult shooting conditions of a bright sunny day. My aim was to catch a sense of the colour and movement of the dancers and the soft grey light of the day.

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