Dancing with the Devil

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Gabe F., Feb 7, 2023.

  1. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Active Member

    There are something like 200 versions of this folktale/myth about a woman who dances with the devil (for various reasons).

    I am trying to find the one where she makes a deal with the devil and he gets half her life, and she thinks it'll be the end half, and that that it doesn't matter because she's dying... but he ends up taking every night when she goes to sleep, and forces her to dance, and dance so that every waking moment is spent exhausted?

    I can't remember where I saw it read this and it's driving me bonkers.

    Anyone know the tale??
    Dustin likes this.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    No, but now I want to know too!
    Dustin and Rachel83az like this.
  3. SweetSecret

    SweetSecret Well-Known Member

    Count me in on wanting to know more.
  4. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    It sounds vaguely familiar, but I don't know if it's because it is or because my brain is just confused.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The 'Dancing with the Devil" theme is so pervasive in many cultures, I'm sure you've likely encountered it somewhere, and just can't put your finger on where. I did a lot of looking for this story and didn't come up with this specific one, but I had a good time. On my "cultural romp," I found "Dancing with the Devil" stories in Romani (Gypsy), Old New Orleans, French-Canadian and South Texas (Hispanic) cultures. The Devil, is, of course often found in African-American folklore, too. Even stories pertaining to real people, e.g. Robert Johnson being taught guitar by the Devil. (I don't THINK it happened --- but you never know, :) )

    Couldn't find this specific one - but I had a terrific time! Lots of dancing! :)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
    Rachel83az likes this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And raisin' Hell.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's amazing how old some folktales are. I was reading about how the folktale of the swan maiden can be traced back to paleolithic times, perhaps even before the people whose descendants would become Native Americans crossed the land bridge.
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  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'd love to believe this, Steve, but on short notice, I can find no evidence. Nobody, even, that states it. Yes -old. But Paleolithic? We don't understand or have record of language from that period. Extinct languages can be at least partially derived, from known successors, but this period is, I think, too far back for that. Nor, of course, was their any writing. Are we talking cave-paintings? Yes, it's very old - and stretches from China to Europe and on to North American Natives - wherever swans are known, I guess. But I'm unable to find any suggestion of Paleolithic times. What I did find is this:


    It starts: "The tale of the Swan Maiden has no official origin, but its beginnings can be traced across many different cultures and places all over the world."

    Can you enlighten us further? Source, maybe? I'd really like this to be true. Neolithic, maybe?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  10. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    This is on Wikipedia, unfortunately this is so far outside my area I can't vouch for any of it, including the meaning of the word "phylogenetic":

    Berezkin, Yuri (2010). "Sky-Maiden and World Mythology". Iris. 31: 27–39.
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  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Found it!

    Right where you did, Dustin - I was writing this post when I got your alert. I'm no longer "Doubting Johann" :)

    "Gudmund Hatt, Yuri Berezkin and Julien d'Huy independently showed that this folktale would have appeared during the Paleolithic period, in the Pacific Asia, before spreading in two successive waves in America"

    Thanks Steve, Rachel, Dustin and Wiki. (and Gudmund, Yuri and Julien too.) It was a great ride!

    @Dustin "Phylogenetic" (Biology) - relating to the evolutionary development and diversification of a species or group of organisms, or of a particular feature of an organism. (I'll confess - I had to look it up.)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
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  12. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    There are a lot of motifs/stories that can be traced back to Paleolithic times. They trace them like they trace DNA. Seeing who has what and when the fossil record shows that different groups likely split off from one another. I cannot remember which, but there are definitely some that are thought to come from when we were barely even "human" and maybe hadn't even left Africa yet.
    SteveFoerster and Johann like this.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm glad I asked the question - I learned, today! Thanks, Rachel.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Some of my college texts came from Paleolithic professors but I don't remember this myth.
    Johann likes this.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  17. LevelUP

    LevelUP Active Member

    Once upon a time, in a small village in the heart of Europe, there lived a young woman named Marta. Marta was known throughout the village for her beauty and her grace. She was an accomplished dancer, and she had won many awards for her performances. However, Marta was not content with her life. She longed for more wealth, more fame, and more success.

    One day, as she was walking through the village, she came across a strange old man. The old man had a twinkle in his eye, and he offered Marta a deal. He told her that he would give her anything she wanted, in exchange for half of her life. Marta, desperate for success, agreed to the deal without thinking. She was certain that the old man would take the second half of her life, after she had lived her best years.

    The next day, Marta woke up to find that she was famous. Her dance performances were the talk of the village, and people came from far and wide to see her. However, every night when she went to sleep, she would wake up feeling tired and exhausted. She soon realized that the old man had taken every night of her life, leaving her with only the days to live.

    The old man then revealed himself to be the devil, and he told Marta that she was his partner in a dance that would last until the end of her days. He forced her to dance every day, until she collapsed from exhaustion. But every night, as soon as she fell asleep, she would be forced to dance again. The cycle continued, with Marta never being able to rest.

    Marta tried everything she could to break free from the devil's grasp, but nothing worked. She turned to the villagers for help, but they were all too afraid of the devil to interfere. Marta was left with no choice but to continue dancing.

    Years passed, and Marta grew old and tired. The devil, however, never aged. He would dance with Marta every day, never tiring, never slowing down. Finally, on her deathbed, Marta made a final plea to the devil. She begged him to release her from her contract, so that she could rest in peace.

    The devil, seeing the desperation in Marta's eyes, agreed to release her from her contract. However, he warned her that she would have to dance one last time, with him, to mark the end of their partnership. Marta, with all the strength she had left, agreed to dance one last time with the devil.

    The dance was the most beautiful and graceful that anyone in the village had ever seen. Marta danced with the devil as if they were one, moving in perfect harmony. And when the dance was over, Marta took her final breath and passed away, finally at peace.

    The devil was never seen in the village again, and the tale of Marta and the devil's dance became a legend. People would tell the story to their children, warning them of the dangers of making deals with the devil and the importance of being careful what they wished for. And to this day, the legend of Marta and the devil's dance lives on, a testament to the power of dance and the consequences of greed.

    In conclusion, the tale of "The Devil's Dance" is a classic folktale that has been passed down through the generations. It serves as a cautionary tale, warning us of the dangers of making deals with the devil and the importance of being careful what we wish for. The story reminds us that there is always a cost to our desires, and that we should think twice before making any deals with dark forces.
    Johann likes this.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Nice catch. Source?
    Dustin likes this.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    In silentio veritas. :rolleyes:

    Yep, I think we found the "author" ... but who paid for this? Looks like a Kremlin job.

    Professor: "You get an F. This essay was obviously written by AI."
    Student: "Yes, b-b-but I wrote all the prompts...
    Professor: "Okay, they're worth a few marks ... I'll give you an F+. You still failed." :(

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