Sword dancing

1909 med

Handsworth Traditional Sword Dancers – http://www.handsworthsworddancers.org.uk/

Handsworth is a suburb of Sheffield, in recent history a mining village. In this area there developed, some unknown time in the past, a sword dance for eight men, which is still performed today to the traditional pattern. The dancers wear dragoon-type uniforms and carry long-swords of inflexible steel about one metre in length. Shortly after the beginning of the ten-minute dance, they join to form a complete ring, and perform a series of complex ‘figures’, ending with a ‘lock’ of enmeshed swords, which can be carried aloft by one man. Traditionally performances take place at Christmas in the locality, and at functions and events by invitation at other places throughout the year.

…it is certainly one of the best and most inspiriting of the dances that still survive in Yorkshire

Cecil J. Sharp, The Sword Dances of Northern England, 3 pt. (London: Novello, 1911-13), III, page 37


The Flamborough Sword Dancers circa 1908. Since the early 1900’s the Flamborough sword dancing team’s costume comprises fisherman’s ganseys (the pattern unique to Flamborough), ‘white ‘ducks’ and flat caps. Photo by Richard Traves – http://www.flamboroughheadsac.org.uk/storyboards/history/iframe.php?StoryID=18

grenoside sword dancers in 1965

grenoside sword dancers circa1895

Grenoside Sword Dancers, circa 1895 – http://grenosword2010.apwb.com/






Scottish sword dancers – http://pinterest.com/pin/146718900332500121/


Fenestrelle Sword Dancers – http://starofswords.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/mystery-photos-of-fenestrelle-sword-dancers/


Flamborough Sword Dance – http://www.friendsreunited.com/flamborough-sword-dance-the-lock-margaret-charlotte-fagan-christine-muir-grace/Memory/bbe0ed0e-f8b2-4c2e-910c-1a1b1a1023da

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