Choreomaniacs

  • Dance & performance
  • Invitation based entrance
  • ReDANS 2020, part of the programme “Dance me to the End of…”

50 mins.

Info

Choreomaniacs is a performative docu-fiction, chronologically following the events that marked the “dance epidemy” in the summer of 1518, in Strasbourg – a mass dystopian manifestation, which affected several hundred people. The show discusses the way we choose to look at dance, starting from a series of testimonials from the scholars of the period, a mix of pseudoscience, theology and medieval science-fiction, in contemporary movements. The focus is on the way the epidemic spread was documented, the events being told from the point of view of the watcher, never from the point of view of the one who lived them.

Description

1518. The city of Strasbourg is on full alert. A dance epidemic starts in the city’s main market. 

Called, over the ages, “The Dance of Saint Vitus”, “Lascivious Chorea”, “dance mania” or “choreomania”, the documentation of this event is as bizarre as the event itself; a mix of humorous medicine, supernatural phenomena, a bit of mycology and some mythology. For those who dare to browse the articles forming the internet wow, the dance epidemic is strongly infused by the ideas of the late Middle Ages Christian Church.

The few contemporary researchers who studied it classified the event as mass hysteria, and few dance theoreticians even named it an early choreopolic manifestation.

This dystopic event – a dance epidemic that affected several hundred people, became a historical information through the visions of those who had a voice in the community of the time (clerics, local authorities, theologists, chroniclers). In the absence of any testimony for choreomaniacs, the start of this epidemic remains a speculation, that slowly transformed into historical truth. Also a speculation remains the contemporary interpretations, which (re)contextualize the historical interpretations.

Extra info 

The show is part of the Dance me to the End of… programme, through which CNDB invites established artists to revisit their own works or to create new productions, alongside students of CNDB Dance and Performance Academy. 

Concept & choreography: Simona Deaconescu
Music: Vlaicu Golcea
Production: Laura Trocan
Light design: Alexandros Raptis
Graphic design: Daniel & Andrew

With
Vera Cirlugea, Diana Maria Dragu, Laura Murariu, Nicolae-Robert Popa, Adrian Popiță

Co-financed by
Administration of the National Cultural Fund (AFCN)
The project does not necessarily represent the position of The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The Administration of the National Cultural Fund is not responsible for the content of the project or the manner in which the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.