Sir: It is interesting to hear that The Black and White Minstrel Show is to be revived ('Don't that old minstrel magic make you see red?', 28 August) and that minstrelsy is now regarded as part of an old tradition.

Blacking up does not seem to cause the same offence in the area of traditional dance where certain styles of morris dance involve blacking the face (notably molly dancing from Kent and East Anglia and border dancing from the border of England and Wales). In these traditions faces were originally blackened to disguise dancers, who might not have wanted their employers and others to recognise them, and also to give an air of mystery to the dance.

Perhaps the Black and White Minstrels should relaunch themselves as a traditional English dance form.

Yours faithfully,


London, SE13

28 August