The Rapperlympics: A Sword Dancing Rampage In Soho

By Lindsey Last edited 82 months ago
The Rapperlympics: A Sword Dancing Rampage In Soho

No, it's nothing to do with rap singers. These rappers dance in fives, firing off fast tapping footwork and tying themselves in knots with flexible flashing swords to an infectious fiddle folk accompaniment.

The rapper dance derives from the pit villages of Northumberland and Durham but in a fortnight, the best rappers in the rapper-verse converge on Soho's hostelries to battle it out at the Rapperlympics.

Imagine an Irish, Morris, Mummers mash-up, with character commentators providing an element of cross-dressing panto antics, delivered in 5 minutes slices in the comfort of a pub.

These days both women and men dance rapper and teams come from all over the UK and world, although the 'Rapper Heartland' of Tyneside is still well represented. Our local team and host for the Rapperlympics is Thrales Rapper, the Bermondsey based group whose motto is 'commit no nuisance'.

Teams will be marked on 'Stepping, Sword Handling, Dance Technique/Teamwork, Buzz Factor, Presentation, Music and Characters'. Here's a taste of what you can expect:

The Rapperlympics start with a warm-up ceilidh at Cecil Sharp House on Friday 30 March. The competitive dancing takes place on Saturday 31 March in Soho from 11am (free to watch, get there early!) In the evening, the action heads back to Cecil Sharp House for a huge performance by all the teams and Hackney Colliery Band. On Sunday 1 April, there are rapper workshops back at Cecil Sharp House. Book tickets now.

Photo: the Newcastle Kingsmen are one of the few teams to have competed at every DERT and have been overall winners several times. Will they return to the top in 2012? (photo via DERT courtesy of John Asher).

Find out more at Rapper Online.

Last Updated 16 March 2012