Everybody or Danse Macabre: Part II

Everybody or Danse Macabre: Part II

by Tatiana Baccari // May 17th, 2021

Hamlet. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…

Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park Mural by Diego Rivera

We’re in a dream. It’s about Everybody dying. It’s also a play. We’re in a theater. It’s dark and cold. The space is wrapping around us. Holding us. Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You” begins to play. The lights come up on “Cousin” and “Kinship” in a domestic Christmukkah celebration complete with its very own Hanukkah bush. “VIII. Family” shows in projection. Although the script itself doesn’t denote what family looks or sounds like, this is the family I see and hear.
The original Everyman rose to fame shortly after The Black Death massacred Afro-Eurasia’s populations by close to 50%. From 1346-1353, over 200 million people died. In Sarah Durn’s “How Medieval People Tried to Dance the Plague Away,” she recounts how people who lived through this horror started doing some funny things, like breaking out in erratic, “epileptic” dancing at all hours. Others turned to hyper-religious repentance, even self-flagellation. What will be our solace?  
 
A detail from an 18th-century oil painting depiction of the Dance of Death.

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