The Dancing Mania I Jessie Winograd

The Dancing Mania I Jessie Winograd


Chapter 1, Section 1 of The Dancing Mania


Jessie Winograd, concept & direction

Sydney Maresca, co-creator & costume design

Ira Joan Macner, co-creator

Kym Bernazky, deviser/performer

Jamie Graham, deviser/performer


Chapter 1, Section 1 of The Dancing Mania is an evening-length devised dance theater piece based on the true story of a medieval dancing plague.


In 1518, the residents of Strasbourg were stricken with an unexplainable, irresistible, extremely painful urge to dance madly until they collapsed. Hundreds were affected; dozens died; two months and many rival curative attempts later, it was suddenly over. It was after the invention of the printing press, in the midst of the Protestant Reformation, a time of great social turmoil colliding with the aftermath of plague, famine, and natural disasters – a time not unlike our own.


By excavating our physical and emotional reactions to the historical record and to present day events, we ask ourselves: how do cultural ideas and mores interact with the animal consciousness we all possess? How do we reconcile our culture and our consciousness with the stories we tell ourselves about our imagined place in a cosmic, celestial system? Approaching our work from a personal point of view compels us, and our audience, to reflect on our behavior within the contemporary moment.