May Day Celebration - The Minute Silence


On May 1st 2016 The Dance Movement were commissioned by Farnham Maltings to create a May Day dance as part of celebrations to commemorate the world’s first two minute silence. Along with local partners, Farnham Maltings, The Dance Movement joined the festivities to perform a reimagining of the traditional May Pole dance.  TDM artists Nicky Norton and Rachel Palmer created three performances with local schools, Potters Gate and FMMH Juniors, and TDM companies, Youth Dance Company and the advance youth Company Coalesce

Men and women dressed of the era, soldiers making camp in Gostrey Meadow, the community were out in force to commemorate an important national event, whose origins are found in our town. While the two-minute silence is often accredited to the King and his government, in May 1916 a group of local farmers held and Agricultural Jumble Sale and General Fair  to raise funds for the Red Cross. It was questioned whether the event was appropriate amidst a world war and as a token of respect, the event included a two minute silence for those fallen in was and in service of their country.


‘This is one of those stories you stumble across which stops you in your tracks and asks you to reflect on the specialness of the place we live in. It’s a story of Farnham as a progressive, compassionate community’.

 Gavin Stride. Artistic Director of time to remember and Director of Farnham Maltings.


In the middle of Gostrey Meadow, amidst the crowd, Potters Gate School dancers were a sea of blue, yellow, red and greens as they performed their piece choreographed by Nicky Norton. Their performance saw the May Pole weave intricate patterns, winding and unwinding. Following Potters Gate School, the Youth Dance Company performed a similar pattern without the pole ribbons, finding their own patterns in the grass. And last, but certainly not least, Coalesce took to the grass bringing an ethereal, graceful piece to round up the performances.  A fabulous day had by all.




Originally posted September 21, 2016.