Essay about Walpurgis Night Theme in Choreography

Essay about Walpurgis Night Theme in Choreography

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A theme of Walpurgis Night is very popular in various art forms such as theatre, dance, literature, music, film, and television. A number of different European cultures have their traditions and celebrations. In most cultures celebrating Walpurgis Night, the event usually takes place on April 30 or May 1 and is associated with the celebration of spring. There is a lot of mystery and uncertain information about the origins of Walpurgis Night. Casanova’s Catholic Encyclopedia states that it was named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga who was canonized on May 1 (Casanova). But if it was just a celebration of spring, if would not be so interesting for artists creating in different art forms. In Richard Golden’s Encyclopedia Of Witchcraft : The Western Tradition it is also stated that Walpurgis Night was named after “the Anglo-Saxon princess Walpurga, who was the niece of St. Boniface and abbess of a nunnery at Heidenheim in Germany” (1178). A century after her death, her corps was transported to Eichstätt on May 1, 870, and this date became her feast day. Pagans used to celebrate this day with festivals. They chose the most inaccessible places for their festivals in order not to be caught by the Christians who tried to extinguish the memory of the feast. That might be the reason why the myth of witches gathering was born. There is a belief in popular culture that on the night between April 30 and May 1 all witches meet at the top of the Blocksberg (now called Brocken) in the Harz Mountain Range in Germany to worship the Devil with lighting bonfires and dancing (Golden 1178). This belief has become inspirational for many outstanding works in literature, music, chorography, art, film and television. The use and interpretations...


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Works Cited

Bolshoi. State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
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Bulgakov, Mikhail. The Master and Margarita. Kindle file.
Golden, Richard M. Encyclopedia Of Witchcraft : The Western Tradition. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2006. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 5 Dec. 2013
Casanova, Gertrude. "St. Walburga." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 6 Dec. 2013 .
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. "Goethe's Collected Works." Faust I & II.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1994. 101. Vol. 2 of Goethe's Collected Works.
3 vols. Rpt. in Goethe's Collected Works. Trans. Stuart Atkins. Print.

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