It is nothing new. We have a private revolution going on. A revolution of individuality and diversity that can only be private. Upon becoming a group movement, such a revolution ends up with imitators rather than participants … - Bob Stubbs, “Unicorn Philosophy” We wanted to signal that this was the end of it, to stay … Read more“Death of Hippie” – October 6, 1967
I have a soft spot for the tradition of Danse Macabre enactments as part of the Renaissance Faire circuit’s grassroots, DIY amusement park vibe. Rather like the modern, American take on the Day of the Dead, that tradition stretches back to the counterculture of 1970s California. The original “Bones Band” was founded by an artist/musician … Read moreThe Renaissance Faire Danse Macabre
Leslie Ann Epperson’s 2015 documentary (trailer above) examines the history, personalities, logistics and guiding ethos of Tucson’s acclaimed All Souls Procession. This secular and notably artistic remembrance of death and celebration of life dates back to the year 1990 and has grown from strength to strength – a recent count estimated well over 150,000 participants … Read more“Many Bones, One Heart” – a Documentary on Tucson’s All Souls Procession
Thanks to the good people at SevenPonds for this detailed article reviewing nine games designed to encourage conversations about the last taboo: Since 2004, when the Bay Area nonprofit The Coda Alliance launched the card game Go Wish, several dozen companies have released games that focus on the heretofore taboo subject of end of life. And while … Read moreDeath Discussion Games Reviewed
By Tony Wolf Several years after staging The New Danse Macabre in Wellington, New Zealand, I had become part of the regular faculty of the Stamping Ground Festival of Dance and the Action Arts in Bellingen, Australia. Stamping Ground was the brainchild of veteran dancer/ choreographer Peter Stock, who wanted to encourage greater participation in … Read moreThe New Danse Macabre at Stamping Ground (2003)
Morbid Curiosity is a Trivial Pursuit-style party game designed to encourage engaging conversations about death. According to co-creator Kimberley Mead: It all started with a group of children. Strange for a game about death, but, it did. I was working at a grief center, facilitating a children’s group. I was struck with the remarkable difference … Read moreMorbid Curiosity: A Wickedly Fun Party Game About Death
This charming “docu-musical” tells the true story of the Kiwi Coffin Club, a senior social group in Rotorua, New Zealand who hand-make and decorate their own coffins.
By Tony Wolf My background is in the entertainment industry as a choreographer and sometime-director, with an extracurricular “minor” in ritual. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of creativity, history and psychology, and in the ways those disciplines play out in public celebrations. I was also deeply dissatisfied with the mainstream modern, Western approaches … Read moreThe New Danse Macabre: How and Why I Created a Death-Positive Performance for a 1998 Arts Festival