Sunday Night Fever

Dancing, as the people of Elmore, Okla., can attest, a symptom of a truly abhorrent disease. By now, you have come to know the sickness by many names: “Night Fever,” “Boogie Fever,” “The Harlem Shake.” To stay ahead of this epidemic, the San Francisco Early Music Society presents a series of concerts on the roots of dance mania, Choreomania: Music for the Dancing Plagues of the Middle Ages and Renaissance Europe, featuring local ensemble Cançonièr. The program offers music from real-life “dancing plague” phenomena observed during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Afflicted individuals were spurred into frenzied and at times contagious bouts of dancing, which continued for days until finally ended by exhaustion or death. The instrumental and vocal dance music used as therapy to ease dancers’ suffering then is performed here for your amusement and delight. The concert boasts a collection of penitential prayers, tarantellas, and folk music from northern Europe. Dance fever, like the common cold, has taken many turns through the years — some involving cowbell and Deney Terrio — and it is certainly not to be taken lightly. Get ahead of the game with this enterprising and educational concert series. You know the old adage: Feed a fever.
Sun., March 10, 7:30 p.m., 2013

 
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