Bristol Rapper Sword Lock Rapper

Sword Dancers

Dances and Figures

Bristol Rapper performs three different short-sword dances. These are based on traditions from the north-eastern English villages of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, High Spen and Winlaton respectively. This season (2005/2006) a new tradition, Beadnell, has been started, though the latter is currently still at an early practice stage. The dances are listed below in the order in which they were introduced into our repertoire.

Newbiggin

(Newbiggin-by-the-Sea)

 

As currently performed, the dance begins with the following figures ...

 
Stepping in line.
Stepping in line, with "train" step.
Fixy.
Granny Knot.
Breast Plate.
 

The following figures are then called at random by the captain...

 
Single Under (or Single Guard).
Prince of Wales.
Princess.
Mary Anne.
Line.
Glass Haymarket.
 

The dance ends with the following figures ...

 
Back-to-Back Ring.
Display the lock in line.
 

In past years, the following figures have been included at various times ...

 
Fast fiddler.
Old fiddler.
Ramsay.
Cramper.
Reins - Choker.
Changing the Guard.
Overhead Lock.
Tumble.
 

High Spen

 

As currently performed, the dance consists of the following figures ...

 
Single and Double.
Tommy Knot.
Fixy.
Follow-We.
Bulldog.

Display the lock in line.

 

In past years, the following figures have been included at various times ...

 
Single Figure Eight.
Double Figure Eight.
 

Winlaton

 

This dance is always performed strictly as follows ...

 
Circle around, step and clash.

Chorus: Nut & wheel-spin.

Rolls.

Chorus: Nut & wheel-spin.

Needles.

Chorus: Nut & wheel-spin.

Curls.

Chorus: Nut & wheel-spin.

Mary Anne.

Chorus: Nut & wheel-spin.

Line - wheel around.

Chorus: Nut & wheel-spin.

Line - display the lock & pivot line 180 twice.

Beadnell 

 (Note: at early practice stage - not yet performed)

Stand in a circle, facing in, swords on R. shoulders.
Raise swords to clash position.
All turn L., walk in a circle, clashing swords 8 times.
Join in circle, swords on outside shoulders.
Single Guard.

Chorus: Lock,  wheel-spin, outward-facing circle, inward-facing circle.

Six curlies (with No. 3 remaining with 1 & 2).

Chorus: Lock, wheel-spin, outward-facing circle, inward-facing circle.

Six curlies (with No. 3 crossing, 3 going right in first curly).

Chorus: Lock, wheel-spin, outward-facing circle, inward-facing circle..

Six curlies with 1 and 5 crossed (1 outside 5 at start).

Chorus: Lock, wheel-spin, outward-facing circle, inward-facing circle.

Six curlies with 2 & 4 crossed.
Lock and double-length wheel spin.
All except No 1 release swords, 1 raises lock.
No 1 leads off; all exit with a "loping" step.

 
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