Sword Dance Union Day of Dance and Tournament

12th October 2013 - Ripon

There will be dancing in the streets of Ripon between 11am and 3pm. The teams below will be performing on the Market Square, at the Workhouse Museum, in Spa Gardens and outside the Cathedral.

At 3 o' clock there will be a tournament on the Market Square, or if wet, in the YMCA hall just off Water Skellgate. Some teams are competing for best traditional dance, best own dance and best musician. This will be followed by the SDU's AGM.

In the evening the teams will tour the pubs to dance and drink. Pubs we hope to dance in include the White Horse, King Billy, Royal Oak, So! Bar, Golden Lion, One Eyed Rat and the Magdalens.

Host teams

 
Highside Longsword
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Pateley Longsword

Confirmed teams

 The Goathland Plough Stots are one of the 5 remaining teams left in the British Isles still dancing their original dance that dates back to the 1800's. They have in the last 2 years started dancing girls from the village and are in a healthy position of having several team members, in January at their Day of Dance in Goathland they had 5 sets of dancers and 15 musicians plus the characters in dress.
 The Monkseaton Morrismen and Folk Dance Club are top exponents of the traditional dances of Northumbria and one of the leading folk dance groups in England. The club was founded in 1955 with the aim of raising a small but highly competent team of dancers and musicians, able and willing to give authentic performances at the highest possible standard of English traditional dances. In particular the dances of their own region of Northumbria.  
   The Sallyport Sword Dancers are a sword dance team, founded in 1969, who perform the traditional rapper and longsword dances of the North-East of England. The rapper sword dance tradition is one of taking the dance to the people, usually when they are trying to enjoy an otherwise undisturbed pint somewhere! Sallyport are at the heart of this tradition; the dance is at home in the pubs, and so are Sallyport. Of course, we also do our share of more cultural events, such as folk festivals, weddings, parties and miners' galas. The traditional dances currently performed by Sallyport are those of Newbiggin, Winlaton, Beadnell, Murton and Swalwell. These dances each have a distinctive style and character, lending diversity to our repertoire. We also now do Poppleton longsword.
Claro Sword & Morris are based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Currently, we perform solely Longsword Dances, although as our name implies our origins include Cotswold Morris Dances as well. We perform traditional Longsword Dances from Yorkshire as well as a number of new dances in the traditional style. Over the 35+ years since our formation, our performances have taken us to many towns and villages in England as well as various destinations abroad. We have danced in Vannes in Brittany, Bruges in Belgium, and three times in Harrogate's (former) twin town of Luchon in the French Pyrenees.  
   Stone Monkey have been working on their Longsword Dance for over 20 years now. It is loosely based on traditional Yorkshire Longsword figures, with a dash of "Monkey" dust from their Rapper heritage. The Swords are shorter and wider than commonly used in Longsword and the music is a set of French-style Bourrées rather than more traditional Longsword tunes.
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.   
   Redcar Sword Dancers were established in 1967 to revive the Greatham Sword Dance and Play, which we perform every Boxing Day in Greatham. Also in our repertoire is our own dance, Eston & California, based on movements to be found in many of the local dances. Please visit our website at www.redcarsword.org.uk for further information on our history and activities.
   Cinquefoil Rapper are a mixed rapper sword dance team from Leicester. We practice weekly on Sunday evenings at The Top House Pub and can often be seen performing out and about at local events or just stepping our way through the local drinking establishments (aka a pub crawl!)
 Maltby Pheonix were hewn from South Yorkshire's Thorncliffe coal seam sometime around 2002. Described as "quality" and "excellent for raising steam", being fully combustible also comes in handy when spawning new generations of Phoenixes. The teams dance with Longswords; dances long associated with Yorkshire's agricultural communities and also with rapper (bendy) swords which originated a little further north in the coal fields of Northumbria. Both traditions hve a deep significance in their home town which originated as a tiny agricultural community and grew into a small town following the sinking of its pit. Maltby Phoenix was believed to be the only remaining rapper team in the country associated with a working colliery until its closure this year.