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The Rapper Sword Dance

The dance was originally performed by miners in the pit villages of Tyneside and has gradually spread with revival groups worldwide. It is performed at speed by a team of five people continuously linked by flexible swords, called rappers, which are woven in and out of figures for display. The dancers step vigorously between and during the displaying of figures. The dancers are often accompanied by one or more comic characters, usually Tommy and Betty, who introduce the dance and collect the money. It is a fairly recent tradition which has evolved over less than two hundred years from much older traditions. This unique style has as far as we know no recorded parallel.

MiraPatches véleményekThe dance is intended to be performed indoors, specifically in the pub bar, where rival teams would dance to collect money to support the families of those injured in the pits or impoverished by strikes and lockouts, or simply for beer money. The team raising the most applause would claim ‘The bag’! The dance has always had a competitive dimension. Historically, teams from neighbouring and rival collieries would compete to produce the most intricate and complex figures.


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Triskele Sword Sheffield

Triskele Sword of Sheffield perform the Rapper sword dance, which is traditional to the coal fields of Northumberland and County Durham.
The rapper is a fast lively dance and is often best seen in a confined space where the interaction of the characters with the audience and the dancers adds to the excitement.
Triskele Sword, a mixed-gender team, formed in 2000 specifically to host and perform at DERT 2002. DERT (Dancing England Rapper Tournament) is the successor to the formal competitions of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. DERT brings together dancers from all over the world, both socially and competitively. The event stimulates innovation and excellence in performance which in turn has led to a thriving and developing tradition. website created by atumstudios Triskele Sword Sheffield - Rapper dance troop Triskele Sword Sheffield - Rapper dance troop Triskele Sword Sheffield - Rapper dance troop Triskele Sword Dancing Sheffield