CHOREOMANIA: Music for the Dancing Plagues of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

CançonièrSMcpFrom fiery tarantellas to penitential prayers, music to appease divine wrath, or just the ultimate Dance Fever!  View Program >

Cançonièr, an ensemble devoted to music from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, will perform a fascinating program featuring instrumental and vocal dance music, flagellant songs, penitential prayers, tarantellas, and more.

Acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and Cançonièr co-founder Tim Rayborn explains the context for a program of music devoted to the so-called “dancing plague”: “During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, certain areas experienced brief outbreaks of manic, ‘contagious’ dancing that often afflicted dozens, or even hundreds. Otherwise ordinary people would succumb to a compulsion to dance furiously for days or weeks on end, some to their deaths. Many feared that they had been cursed by saints, and perhaps gave in to mass hysteria; the true causes are still debated. Music was offered for the dancers in the hope that it would ease their suffering, or appease divine wrath.”

Phoebe Jevtovic: voice; Shira Kammen: vielle, voice; Tim Rayborn: frame drum, hylsung, tabor, voice, citole, psaltery; Priscilla Smith: recorders, dulcian, bagpipe, voice; Tom Zajac: pipe and tabor, bagpipe, sackbut, recorder, dulce melos, jaw harp, castanets, voice

Friday, March 8, 2013 | Palo Alto
8pm @ First Lutheran Church
600 Homer Avenue

Saturday, March 9, 2013 | Berkeley
7:30pm @ St. John’s Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue

Sunday, March 10, 2013 | San Francisco
7:30pm @ St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell

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