reviewed by Paula Citron
Harbourfront World Stage/bluemouth inc.
Written and performed by the collective – Ciara Adams, Stephen O’Connell, Daniel Pettrow, Sabrina Reeves and Lucy Simic with musicians Gabrielle Charron-Merritt, Jacob Duclos, Zoe Sharp and Richard Windeyer
At the Enwave Theatre
The latest offering from Harbourfront World Stage was bluemouth inc., a New York/Toronto theatre collective that specializes in original site specific work. The show Dance Marathon was inspired by the sleazy Great Depression phenomenon where destitute couples would try to win prizes by outlasting everyone else. It was all about endurance and humiliation. Everyone had to keep moving at all times or risk elimination.
On a positive note, all the members of the audience were the participants, and each was given a number. The Enwave Theatre was transformed into a dance hall equipped with a live cam and historic footage. As the evening wore on, more and more couples were eliminated.
Clearly, everyone had come to have a good time, and even though bluemouth tried to interject some sombre moments through poetry and stream of consciousness monologues, they couldn’t dispel the levity. There is a lot to say about the metaphor of dance marathons, but bluemouth missed making a statement with this show.