For about 300 years starting in the 14th century, mainland Europe was afflicted by choreomania, a social phenomenon that caused thousands of people at once to dance hysterically. Some researchers believe the “dancing plague” was an extreme form of stress relief. Certainly, modern studies have demonstrated the benefit of dance for conditions including obesity and dementia (less definitive are those seeking a correlation between good dancers and good lovers, or higher IQs). But we don’t need scientists to tell us that dancing is good for our body and soul. For the past seven years, Dance Anywhere has invited the whole world to trip the light fantastic at exactly the same moment — and that moment comes today. The results have been lovely and wide-ranging. Troupes have appeared on the streets of Estonia and Mexico. Long-married couples have done the foxtrot in Central Park. This year, we know the powerful and culturally diverse Anne Bluethenthal Dancers perform in the atrium of SFMOMA, and Alyce Finwall Dance Theater makes the most of 343 Sansome’s gorgeous rooftop deck. Meanwhile, dancers including Sara Templeton haven’t given an exact location (we know she will dance on a meridian somewhere, for people stopped in traffic), and this embodies the spirit of the thing. For if everyone joins, we can all dance like no one is watching.
Fri., March 30, noon, 2012