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The sword dance was one of the three chief English dances of medieval times. It was a ritualistic and ceremonial drama performed by men wearing functional (sharp, not for show) swords and elaborate costumes while parading through the streets. The dance represented and depicted the death of the old year, of Winter, and of scarcity. It brought in the new year festively, with hope of spring and plenty. To symbolize the death of winter, a dnacer must always "die" and be brought to life again as a portrayal of death and resurrection.

Also an art form practiced by the Chinese. There is a famous poem by Dufu about a female sword-dancer.

The Dance of the Sword (Ha Korol ar C'Hleze)

Blood, wine, and glee,
Sun, to thee--
Blood, wine, and glee!

Fire! Fire! Steel, oh! Steel!
Fire, fire! Steel and fire!
Oak! Oak, earth, and waves!
Waves, oak, earth and oak!

Glee of dance and song,
And battle-throng--
Battle, dance, and song!

Let the sword blades swing
In a ring--
Let the sword blades swing!

Song of the blue steel,
Death to feel--
Song of the blue steel!

Fight, whereof the sword
Is the Lord--
Fight of the fell sword!

Sword, thou art mighty king
Of battle's ring--
Sword thou might king!

With the rainbow's light
Be though bright--
With the rainbow's light!

Fire! Fire! Steel, oh! Steel!
Fire, fire! Steel and fire!
Oak! Oak, earth and waves!
Waves, oak, earth, and oak!

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