and upon his victory, Malcolm snatched Macbeth's sword, placed it on the ground and his own sword crosswise atop it, and performed an intricate dance in jubilation. Malcolm became the new King of Scotland with his family ruling until 1093. Under Malcom's reign, Scotland began the transformation from a Celtic to an English culture.
There are many different varieties of the sword dance. Such as the Danse de Bouffons, Double Sword, Longsword dance, Celtic Bacchu-Ber, the Rapier, etc., and the Germans called it the Tacitus. Sword dances performed by the guilds of Smiths and Cutlers in Nuremberg are recorded all the way back to 1350. 16th century records of sword dances survive from all over Germany. Depictions of dances that survived from Zürich (1578) and Nuremberg (1600). In Scotland a dance was recorded as being performed even farther back to 1285, (but this was found in a document from 1440.)
In Egypt, the sword dance was done by the female dancers who were called Gtawazee. Wikipedia says: "Female sword dancing, or Raks al sayf, was not widespread in the Middle East. Men in Egypt performed a dance called el ard, a martial arts dance involving upraised swords, but women were not widely known to use swords as props during their dancing in public. However, paintings and engravings of the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme (who visited Egypt in the 18th century) show sword dancers balancing sabers on their head. Sword dancing, (Raqs al Saïf) is widespread in Turkey, Pakistan-India and Iran. Women’s sword dancing evolved out of sword fighting between men in Egypt and Turkey. There was even a time when sword dancing was banned by the Sultan during Ottoman rule, as it was believed that dancers who took a sword from a soldier and pretended to “kill” him at the end of the performance collected the swords to begin a resistance against the army. These swords were never returned." (end wiki).
Sword Dance and men's ceremonial dance with swords, exist in four main varieties. Combat dances with swords (for example, the ancient Greek Pyrrhic dance) were used for military training. Circular guerrilla dances with sword play occur in Turkey and the Balkans. In Scotland (the Ghillie Callum dance), the Balkans, India, and elsewhere, one or more dancers perform intricate steps over two swords crossed on the ground. Midwinter hilt-and-point dances, once wide spread in Europe, survive in England, the Basque Country, and a few other places. In these dances, a circle of 4 to 20 or more dancers-linked by holding the hilt of one sword, the point of the next-leap over the swords, twist the circle, and weave the swords into a knot. If a folk play or its remnants accompany the dance, the knot may be placed over the neck of one character, who "dies" and is magically revived.
The dance is then varied by dancing around two swords laid across each other on the ground, and while performing the various steps in the angles formed by the swords they are picked up, and the exercise is continued with a sword in each hand. This dance is variously modified, but the sword exercise is the characteristic feature in all its forms.
is another Sword type Military dance from the Celts. The Egg or Hop Egg Dance was similar to the Sword dance. One of the earliest dances of Bohemia was also a Sword dance.
Kulu religious dances performed by men before palanquins in which idols are conveyed and in the presence of the Raja, In the polo in Tibet region, mock sword fights take place there between two combatants, also sword dances with two crossed weapons laid on the ground, precisely like the sword dances which are performed at Highland gatherings.
Danzas de espadas, (a Spanish Dance) in which the dancers clothed in white cloth and armed with a sword, flutter to the sound of instruments.
The Goathland Plough Stots or sword dancers are from Yorkshire, England, They are mostly unemployed men who employ their time by dancing and performing acrobatic stunts for charity. Their musical accompaniment consists of a violin or a concertina, or other musical instrument. They are named Goethland Plough Stots as in the olden days, when healthy landlords refused to give them anything they would take plough and plough up the ground in front of the house. Plough Stots of Goathland, Yorks, England, at the end of a sword dance.
Morris or Moresca dancers use the sword dance in some of their routines as well. Usually called the Rapper" but is probably a mutation of the word "rapier", or perhaps it comes from "scrapper". These swords were designed especially for dancing, and served no other purpose. Two forms have been revived in England— longsword and rapper. Both were once common in the north of England. Dancers are linked in a ring holding the swords and the dance form is distinctive for its fast, elegant weaving figures, dancers passing over and under the swords whilst remaining linked. At times the swords are interlinked into a woven knot, known as a lock or nut (see photo at bottom of page), which is strong enough to be held up by one of the dancers, then returned to all the dancers who grab the sword handles, unlink the swords and continue the dance.
According to Wsolstice Site: "These Rappers are constructed of flexible spring steel, with a fixed handle at one end, and a handle that's free to rotate in the hand of the dancer on the other. It's understood that The rapper sword dance first arose in northern England in the towns along the river Tyne. The Rapper Sword dance was done exclusively by miners, called pitmen. The longsword dance is slower and less flashy, but the figures have some similarities to the rapper sword movements. The earliest reliable historical report of a rapper sword team is from Earsdon about 1800. There are also records of dancers at Winlaton from the early 1800's. Most researchers agree that the rapper sword dance probably evolved from an earlier longsword tradition in the late 1700's (for more info see here).
The dance itself consists of a series of very fast figures where the dancers, and the swords, weave in and out of one another, often forming Rapper Sword Lock "tangles" of swords, which are then untangled by the dancers, who conclude each figure by forming a "nut" or lock of swords, as in the illustration below. The rapper sword dance was introduced in America before World War I, and is often performed here by Morris dancers, or by other groups who specialize only in sword dancing. Iin England, the dances are traditionally performed around Christmas time." (end Wsolstice)
Of the characteristic national dances the "sword dance" of Scotland is still danced at times as an exhibition of skill, and is one of the most perfect and symmetrical in all its parts. The dance was undoubtedly originated as a war dance and designed as a sword exercise. The dancer is required to keep time to the stirring and lively music of the bagpipes while he performs the various movements of a complicated sword exercise.
The Double Sword dance could be done as a solo or a duet. The dance is learned by using something other than a sword, like a board or stick, or a mark drawn upon the ground. The arm movements are the same as the Highland Fling.
According to Middle Eastern Dance website: "Belly dancing with a scimitar can only legitimatly be traced back to American roots. It became popular in the United States in the 1970's. Jamila Salimpour's troupe, Bal Anat used them as a prop, balanced on their head, as part of their routines for the California Rennaissance Fair. Jamila is reported to have gotten the idea from the famous (at least among belly dancers) painting of a Ghawazee by Jean Leon Gerome."