Handsworth Sword Dancers perform in Wirksworth

The Handsworth Sword Dancers are to perform at StarDisc, Wirksworth, on Sunday 10th July from 1-2pm, a free outdoor event and everyone is welcome.

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

StarDisc, Wirksworth
Ambitious, Unique, Inspiring, Visionary, Magical ' is how the public has described the first Big Lottery and Arts Council England funded StarDisc located in East Midlands. This 21st century stone circle and celestial amphitheatre created by Aidan Shingler, inspires, entertains, engages and educates. It is a highly valued community asset, educational resource and performance space. It has attracted thousands of visitors, staged numerous exciting events. Selected as a finalist in the 2014 National Lottery Awards from over 900 projects, StarDisc attracted UK wide public votes and achieved second place (Arts category); testament this innovative outdoor arena captures the public’s imagination. www.stardisc.org
For further information or interviews with the Sword Dancers, please contact:
Susie Casson
01709 234320
07791 875902


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