Linked sword dances

sword dance

Also known as hilt-and-point or chain sword dances, linked sword dances have been among the most widespread and dramatic traditional dance styles throughout much of Europe since the Middle Ages.

Distinct from the mock-combat type of sword dance, which is found all over the world, the linked type—in which the dancers are connected to each other by swords and perform figures that are often very complex—is a purely European development.

This according to “The historiography of European linked sword dancing” by Stephen D. Corrsin (Dance research journal XXV/1 [spring 1993] pp. 1-12). Above, a depiction of the Traunstein Schwerttanz from 1606 (click to enlarge); below, rapper dancing from Northumbria.

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