Dancing Plague Paul Dolden

A dancing mania, also known as the Dancing Plague, was a social phenomenon that occurred in Europe starting after the Black Death in 1350, and lasting for at least one hundred years. It involved groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. Often musicians accompanied dancers, due to a belief that music would treat the mania, but this often encouraged others to join in. The dancers roamed the countryside often wearing “strange colorful attire” and many paraded around naked and made obscene gestures with many having sex. Others acted like animals by jumping, hopping and leaping about. They hardly stopped and some danced until they broke their bones. Many screamed, laughed or cried but most just went into a state of ecstasy and eventually became overwhelmed in exhaustion.

  • Year of composition: 2021
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Duration of the submitted work: 13:04

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