Jonathan Glazer last worked with composer Mica Levi on 2013's amazing Under the Skin. They've re-teamed for this new short film, "Strasbourg 1518," that was made during quarantine and is being distributed in the US by A24. It features nine international dancers who were invited to perform to Levi's piece with Glazer bringing it all together. The inspiration is a curious piece of history with connections to our pandemic times:

Just over five hundred years ago this summer, a strange mania seized the city of Strasbourg. Citizens became compelled to dance—uncontrollably, deliriously, day after day, night after night; for two months, as if in a trance. First one dancer. Then tens. Then hundreds.

As the dancing disease would not end, the city council decreed that families should stay in their houses when a member was infected. These people had to be kept out of the public eye. The council was fearful that those affected might start dancing and frighten, or even infect, the healthy population.

All nine dancers bring a palpable sense of on-the-edge exhaustion to their performances. It's intense. You can watch the whole 10-minute short at the film's website, and you can watch the trailer below.

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