News: Endangered dance form

Wednesday 4 June 2008

One of the consequences of the government’s Violent Crimes Reduction Bill which came into force in April this year, is that sword dancing – a folk dance form which dates back to at least the 1700s – could be outlawed. Some forms of Egyptian belly dance which use swords are also affected. Under the new legislation the sale or use of swords is prohibited unless for ‘historical re-enactment or sporting activities’ – and currently the government doesn’t include dance in either category.

Folk dance networks are campaigning for dance to be exempt under the act and there is a petition on the Downing Street website that you can sign in support.

“We the undersigned propose that dance be included as historical re-enactment or sporting activity within the exemption for the purchase & use of swords….” Read on:

The petition closes on 25 June.

More on sword dance:

www.sworddance.co.uk

www.efdss.org/sword.htm

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