U.S. Researcher as a Guest Dancer
Sword Dance: A Yank Swings his Sword
The sword dance is a unique spectacle in Traunstein, whose origins date back to the 16th century. This year is the first time a guest dancer (from the United States) will wield a sword.
Traditionally the sword dance is performed on Easter Monday at the town square at the end of Traunstein Georgirit horse ride. The 20 minute long sword dance symbolizes the struggle of the spring against the winter. This year, an American wields a sword during the sword dance! For the first time in the history of the sword dance “we have a guest dancer in our ranks,” said Alexander Schierl, Board of the Association for the Advancement of Traunstein Sword Dancers.
In a one-year scholarship Jeremy Carter-Gordon, a Ethnochoreology and Ethnomusicology student at the College of New York Barth, is one of the first ever to explore different sword dances throughout Europe. To this end, Jeremy stayed for six weeks in Traunstein to learn the dance. On Easter Monday he will be one of 16 dancers to lift the Spring on their swords in the town square.
The rehersals for this year’s sword dance began six weeks before Easter. Also included is Jeremy Carter-Gordon. In October 2010 he had already contacted the Association in Traunstein in order to study the dance.