Photos by Ted Kromis · Click the images for a larger view
Santa Barbara Revels presented its second annual May Day celebration on Saturday, May 1st at the downtown Farmers’ Market.
The Pacific Sword Company started off the festivities with a Long Sword Dance: they created a variety of intricate movements without letting go of their swords, ultimately forming a complete circle with the swords.
The Long Sword Dance is from the village of Kirkby Malzeard in Yorkshire, England. After the dancing, songleader Ken Ryals led the assembled in traditional songs, including “Hal An Tow,” which originated in Helston, England and is part of their annual May Day celebration.
Then, it was time to weave the ribbons ’round the May pole.
Young and old participants were taught the traditional formation: to walk in two circles going different directions and to move inside and outside each other in passing. The learning curve was rather steep!
What’s wound up must be unwound! Dancers and singers lend a hand to untangle the May pole and put it away until next year.