Author Archives: ArtsJournal1

Boogie Fever: The Dance Plagues Of Medieval Europe

A widespread belief of the 15th century held that the bite of a tarantula could only be treated by wild, mad dancing; groups of people would be possessed by a compulsion to dance, and towns would pay musicians to play for the sufferers. (Hence the dance called the tarantella.) “In fact, mass epidemics of dancing have afflicted various parts of Europe since the seventh century, breaking out particularly in times of famine, disease, and political unrest.” — JSTOR Daily

Developing Authentic Disability Theatre, And Bringing It To The Public

“Theatre has the power to help us recognize the social forces that we have created as a society and allows us to envision how we can change them. To incite positive social change and critically alter the way society views differences, voices from the disability community must be included in what we present onstage.” Seattle dramaturg Andrea Kovich, who identifies as disabled, writes about two projects focused on the work of Deaf and disabled playwrights that she recently did with Sound Theatre Company. — HowlRound

Yalitza Aparicio, Star Of ‘Roma’, Becomes A Symbol Of, And For, Mexico’s Indigenous Women

“[She and the film have] started a national conversation about inequality, the treatment of domestic workers and who is welcome on the red carpet in a country where Indigenous women are rarely seen in magazines” — she’s now the first indigenous woman ever to appear on the cover of Vogue México — “much less at Hollywood awards shows.” — The New York Times

New Film Shows Us An Actual Soviet Show Trial

In The Trial, Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa and his team use only rare, recently-discovered film (with sound) of a full 1930 show trial in Moscow. Masha Gessen explains just how fitting the term show trial is: “the judges, the prosecutor, the court clerks, and the defendants are all members of the cast. They are performing their assigned roles. The rest of the people in the hall — men and women of different ages, some dressed in military uniforms and some in civilian suits, but all wearing their best — are the audience, and their job is to believe everything they see.” — The New Yorker

Carlos Miguel Prieto Cleared Of Overpaying Foreign Soloists At Mexico’s National Symphony

“The cultural secretary’s office admitted that the [earlier report] relied on information in a public government database that, in effect, converted the guest performers’ fees [between] American dollars to Mexican pesos twice, vastly inflating the totals in some cases.” Some observers are suggesting that the charge against Prieto, music director of the Louisiana Philharmonic as well as of Mexico’s flagship orchestra, was being pushed by musicians unhappy with his leadership. — The New Orleans Advocate