Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance


Boar's Tooth Sword

Boar's Tooth Sword is a group of Michigan dancers dedicated to reconstructing sword and other traditional dances from England and the European continent.

Linked sword dancing was a traditional wintertime performance custom in many parts of western and central Europe and England. It could be found in many cities, towns, and villages from Christmas to Shrovetide. While many questions remain about its history, its origins can be traced to the late Middle Ages when trade guilds, soldiers, or the "young men of the parish" staged exciting displays of swordsmanship for public festivals and holidays.

The defining feature of this style of dancing, in northern England, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and other lands of the old Habsburg Empire, is that the movements of the group of dancers, linked by holding swords or sword substitutes, are constrained by the possibilities of the linked swords.

The group currently performs these dances:

  • Abbots Bromley Horn Dance - England
  • Helmsley - England, metal swords
  • Pod Sable - Moravia, Czech Republic, wooden swords
  • Greatham - England, metal swords with mummers' play
  • Boar's Tooth - USA, original choreography, wooden swords
  • Catalonian Sword Dance - from Catalonia, Spain, danced over pairs of crossed swords
  • English Waltz Clog - U.S.

Boar's Tooth sword team performing

Booking and Auditions

734-761-5181 or 734-747-9850