sword dance


sword dance

Folk dance by men, with swords or two-handled blades, expressing themes such as human and animal sacrifice for fertility, battle mime, and defense against evil spirits. It originated in Greek and Roman times. A sword dance appeared in Germany in 1350 and later was part of the court ballet when mock battles were staged. The Scottish sword dance is a descendant of the early crossed-sword dances, and the Morris dance retains remnants of the sword dance. Outside of Europe, such dances are found in India, Borneo, and the Balkans.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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