'Dark Steps'

A Clog dance interpreting the financial trading data of BREXIT

A filmed performance of a clog dance performed by the Seven Stars Sword and Step Dancers, Wigan, 2016

"Clog dancing originated in the North of England over 200 years ago. It is thought to have developed in the Lancashire Cotton Mills where wooden-soled clogs were preferred to leather soles because the floors were kept wet to keep humidity high, an important feature in cotton spinning, as the nails in leather soles could cause sparks, which could result in risk of explosion.

 

The Clog dance steps were inspired by the rhythmic sounds of the textile machinery, and it is said to have first been danced by girls working in the cotton mills. They would beat out a rhythm with their wooden clogs to keep in time with the shuttle flying backwards and forwards across the loom. They would also sing choruses whilst stepping to the rhythm of the machines.

 

There were a variety of machines in the many mills of the Midlands and North West, each machine built for a specific function. There were many rhythms, and as the girls clog danced it is said that those watching the dancers could tell which machines they worked at, and from which mill"

 

 The Rhythm of the Mills: Clog Dances from the Lancashire Cotton Mills

With huge thanks to all of the incredible Seven Stars and Swords Step Dancers for their collaboration in this work!

With thanks to the National Lottery Heritage fund and Neo: Bolton