“For no apparent reason, she just started to dance.”
1518 was a commissioned work choreographed by Broken Rhythms Artistic/Executive Director Dyana Sonik-Henderson and performed in 2015 by Broken Rhythms Dance Company.
The Inspiration behind “1518”
The inspiration comes from the historical story of the dance epidemic or dance plague of 1518. It was traced back to a lone women, Frau Troffea, who stepped onto a narrow busy street of Strasbourg, France, and began to dance. This plague lasted over a month, spreading to over 400 people and caused many deaths from exertion. The dancing was contagious and uncontrollable, rather than joyful; the afflicted dancers were said to have expressed fear and desperation and at times called out for help.
Designed in the style of a Operatic Ballet with a rhythmical contemporary twist, the company dancers—Naomi Graham, Carlene Brick, Meagan Saulnier, Caleigh Hunter, Christina Plaschka, and Lauren Fortier—all eventually succumb to the music and allure of the movement.
Photography: by Ian Sparks, Alina Sotskova and Dyana Sonik-Henderson