Attend a grand ball of the bizarre and never look at dance the same way again!
Weird Dance processes through the odd, grim, and unintentionally humorous history of dance, uncovering strange stories and weird facts.
These dark tales of murder, rivalry, insanity, and more reveal all sorts of grim goings-on, proving that—for dancers—life was not just one grand plié. Stories include:
An elderly woman who stepped out of her Strasbourg home one summer day in 1518 and began to dance furiously; nothing and no one could stop her. Soon, dozens more joined her, and so began another strange epidemic of the deadly dancing plague.
The horrific fate of a young ballerina who had a run-in with a gaslight and saw her career go up in smoke.
The medieval Dance of Death that reminded all of their inevitable doom.
The controversial ballet that sparked a riot.
The strange and macabre fate of the infamous Mata Hari’s head after her execution.
The grotesque scarf accident that led to Isadora Duncan’s demise.
From Roman Bacchanals to medieval and Renaissance dancing plagues, from the bloody world of ballet to scandals, ghosts, spirit possessions, superstitions, and more, you will attend a grand ball of the bizarre that shows just how awful dancers, choreographers, and even audience members have been to each other over the centuries.
Tim Rayborn writes on a variety of historical and musical topics, from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century. He has a PhD from the University of Leeds in England. He is also a professional musician, with a specialty in medieval repertoire, and the author of Weird Dance, Beethoven's Skull (Weird Music!), and Shakespeare's Ear (Weird Theater!). He lives in Berkeley, California.